COP26: No drones or hot air balloons as airspace restrictions go live

The security measures apply to all aircraft and covers much of Central Scotland.

COP26: No drones or hot air balloons as airspace restrictions go live iStock
Police said it is the responsibility of all pilots, including drone pilots, to check the restrictions in their area.

Temporary airspace restrictions applying to all aircraft, including drones and hot air balloons, are now live across Central Scotland.

The security measures were brought in to protect those attending COP26 as well as the wider public and the aviation community, police said.

The restrictions cover areas of Greater Glasgow, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Dunbartonshire, Argyll and Bute, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Stirling, Edinburgh the Lothians and Fife.

The Civil Aviation Authority and Police Scotland confirmed the restrictions would be in place until 23.59 on November 13 – the day after the UN climate summit ends.

Large aircraft scheduled to carry passengers or freight will be permitted to fly as normal.

Police urged the public to phone 999 immediately if they have any concerns about low flying aircraft or drone use in restricted airspace.

If there are “No Drone Zone” signs nearby, then those reporting to police are asked to provide the unique number on the displayed on them.

Police said it is the responsibility of all pilots, including drone pilots, to check the restrictions in their area.

It comes as the COP26 policing operation got under way on Saturday with several protests around Glasgow that the police described as “peaceful”.

Assistant chief constable Gary Ritchie said: “Our policing operation to support a peaceful, vibrant COP26 is well under way as conference delegates and climate change activists begin to arrive in Glasgow.

“We’ve been working with partners to plan and prepare for this important event and our officers and staff are on the ground, keeping people safe.”

ACC Ritchie said the force was a rights-based organisation that was committed to upholding human rights.

“This means that we will protect the rights of people who wish to peacefully protest or counter-protest at COP26, balanced against the rights of the wider community,” he said.

“We have seen a number of peaceful protests already in and around Glasgow today.

“We will continue to provide a proportionate policing response to any protests and have been engaging with known protest groups to ensure their rights to peaceful assembly and protest are met.”