Montrose Port Authority Drone Policy


Montrose Port is a busy commercial port in the North East of Scotland. At all times of the day and night the port is used by a wide variety of vessels, cranes and mobile plant and equipment. Within the port there are also number of buildings and structures which vary in height and almost all of them are occupied by business going about their daily activities. Unregulated and careless use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) pose many potential hazards –  ranging from risk of injury to passengers/ crew on boats through to collision with structures and vessels. Consequently, the port is not a safe place for the routine use of any type of low flying aircraft – manned or unmanned.


Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) (Here after referred to as drones) – An unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system; which include a UAV, a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the t wo.
A small UAV – is defined as ‘any unmanned aircraft, other than a balloon or a kite, having a mass of not more than 20 kg without its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight ‘.
A commercial operation – is defined as: ‘ flight by a small unmanned aircraft which performed under a contract between the UAV operator and a customer which includes remuneration or other valuable consideration.


The port has a no leisure drone policy in place throughout the port estate, however it is accepted that there may be t he occasions when commercial drones may need to be used in the port estate.
In the instances where a commercial drone needs be used in the port estate then the drone operator must apply for authorisation 7 working days in advance of the proposed flight.

As part of the application the following must be provided:

  • Risk assessment and method statement;
  • Proposed time and duration of filming;
  • Proposed Flight Path (to include a diagram showing flight area and take-off and landing site for the drone);
  • Public Liability Insurance certificate;
  • Details of the drone operating company ;
  • Details on the Type/ size/ weight of drone;
  • Details of the maximum operating parameters of the drone including wind speeds;
  • Evidence the drone operator is registered with the Civil Aviat ion Author it y (CAA) or in the case of UAVs over 20kg that they have an operator’s license from the CAA;
  • Evidence of the drone operators training by a CAA approved t raining provider .

Port Rules for the use of Drones

Drone users who have been authorised to operate in the port must:

  • Not fly a drone weighing over 20kg unless they have a licence;
  • Always keep the drone wit hin their line of sight;
  • Fly below an altitude of 122m at all times;
  • Stay 50m away from people and buildings and 100m if your drone is equipped with a camera;
  • Keep 150m away from crowds, built up areas and areas where crane operations are taking place;
  • Only fly their drones as and when it is safe to do so


Records of review shall be kept for 3 years, then archived for a further 2 years.


This policy will be reviewed annually or sooner in the event of changes within the organisation or its operational requirements.


This procedure will be audited as part of the MPA IMS audit programme.