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Drones safety advice

POLICE in Shetland are reminding locals to use drones “responsibly” and adhere to Civil Aviation Authority guidelines when filming Lerwick’s Up Helly Aa proceedings on Tuesday.

Chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch said several enquiries to film the procession and galley burning using drones have been received.

He said: “If not used responsibly drones can cause injury or damage and as such are subject to safety rules, which is underpinned by legislation prohibiting their use.”

Operators of drones must have authority and be approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Drones must only be flown:

  • Within direct, unaided visual line of sight of the pilot;
  • No higher 400 feet (122 meters) above the ground and no further than 500 meters from the operator;
  • 150 meters from congested areas and not within 150 meters of an open-air assembly of 1,000 persons or more;
  • Not directly overhead (at any height) or within 50 meters of persons, vehicles, vessels and property.

The area commander added: “Lerwick will be extremely congested with people and vehicles during the time of the event and as such, in the interests of public safety, the police will ensure the enforcement of this legislation should anyone use or operate a drone during the Up-Helly-Aa processions.”

Meanwhile, police have advised that a number road closures and parking restrictions will be in force on Tuesday.

From 8.20am to about 11.30am, various roads in the town centre will be closed for a short time to allow safe progression of the parade. Pauses in traffic flow will be kept as short as possible.

In preparation for the main evening parades, parking on Hillhead, Lower Hillhead, King Eric Street, St Olaf Street, Union Street, King Harald Street and Harbour Street will be restricted during the day.

All drivers and local householders are asked to have their cars removed from the route by 4pm.

Should vehicles be obstructing the route after that time they may be removed, chief inspector Tulloch added.