• As with any tall structure, the presence of a single crane or number of cranes has the potential to affect aviation activities. Crane-related issues are usually considered and managed in much the same way as any tall structure.

    Because cranes can be erected at extremely short notice, a potential air navigation obstacle can therefore appear with very little notice. Accordingly, in some respects, cranes are assessed in a different light. 

    Working with industry groups, the CAA is currently undertaking a phased creation and implementation of the new crane notification process to better enable this assessment. 

  • Stage A - (First trial - 1st October 2020 to 31st May 2021)

    1. Selected operators who have been invited to take part in the trial will utilise the CAP1096 and use the associated DAP 1924 form. 
    2. All other operators are to use the guidance available at Non-Trial Crane Notification Guidance. Within this guidance, the crane users are encouraged to liaise directly with local aerodrome license holders/operators. However, where any crane is expected to extend to a height of 90m or more, to assist crane operators, the CAA upon request will attempt to provide comment, guidance or recommendation on a case-by-case basis. To assist with identifying relevant aerodromes, the Non-Trial Crane Notification Areas - 6km can be used to identify aerodromes with safeguarded areas. Where the CAA are required to be notified, the DAP 1924 can be utilised to support the provision to the required data. 

    Stage B - (Trial reflection - 1st June 2021 to 30th September 2021)

    The CAA will utilise this period to reflect upon the trial results to identify potential improvements and amendments to the CAP1096 process. During this process the CAA will continue to engage with the industry and stakeholders to prepare for subsequent phases. During this step, all operators are to use the process outlined in Phase 1 Stage A (2).


    Stage A - (Second trial - 1st October 2021 to 31st March 2022)

    1. Subject to Phase 1 Stage B, the CAP1906 guidance and/or process will be updated as required; this step will be used to validate those findings. These details will be clarified by 1st September 2021 with volunteer organisations sought at that time. During this step, all operators who are not taking part in the trial are to use the process outlined in Phase 1 Stage A (2). 
    2. The CAA will reflect upon the findings of the second trial. During this process the CAA will continue to engage with the industry and stakeholders to reflect upon the trial findings and support development of the implementation plan. 

    Stage B - (Confirmation of readiness - Q1/Q2 2022)

    The CAA will review and publish updated guidance if required and confirm the implementation plan and timescales. 

    Planned implementation which will not occur earlier than 1st April 2022. This time frame will be informed from the implementation plane established in Phase 2, Stage B.

    Trial Overview

    Throughout the three planned phases, industry groups and stakeholders will be engaged with where updates of this trial will form part of regular industry meetings, to ensure the community is informed on progress. In addition to this, relevant updates will be published on this website and communicated to relevant stakeholders and representative bodies directly. 

  • Advice to aerodromes related to High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) or other long-term construction projects within their safeguard area

    For long term crane notification(s), aerodrome operators are suggests to consider the use of AIP supplements to AD 2.10 in advance to satisfy the notification requirements. For more information please see the NOTAM guidance available on the AIS website or contact the UK NOTAM Office. 


    If you have any questions regarding these processes, please contact: arops@caa.co.uk

  • Notification guidance for operators not taking part in the crane trial

    Before 6 September 2021 notification is only required if a crane is:

    • to be used within 6 km of the aerodrome/airfield 
    • its height exceeds 10m or that of surrounding structures or trees, if higher

    After the 6 September 2021, in addition to the above, operators must notify the CAA of any obstacle, including a crane, that is above 100m above ground level regardless of proximity to aerodromes or height of surrounding structures or trees.

  • The hirer of the crane (principal or other contractor) is responsible for notifying aerodrome and the lighting of the crane. Crane suppliers should ensure that hirers are aware of this.

    We encourage crane users to liaise directly with local aerodrome operators. The notifications can be divided into two categories, based on how long the crane will stay in situ:

    Please note that in two specific cases described below additional communication to the CAA and/or DGC may be necessary.

    Cranes in situ for up to 90 days

    These are deemed as temporary structures that can be notified using a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). If needed, the aerodrome operator proposes NOTAM for cranes up to 99m AGL.

    To arrange a NOTAM relating to a crane of a height of 100m or more, a crane user (contractor) should also contact the CAA's Airspace Regulation Section (Utilisation) (arops@caa.co.uk) before the crane is erected.  The DAP 1924 form can be used as part of this process. 

    Cranes in situ for more than 90 days

    Before the crane is erected, users must also notify:

    • the CAA by contacting arops@caa.co.uk
    • the Defence Geographic Centre (DGC)

    The DGC maintains the UK's master database of tall structures (the Digital Vertical Obstruction File (DVOF)). They can be contacted at 0208 818 2702 / dvof@mod.gov.uk

    From 6 September 2021, it will become mandatory to report cranes of a height of 100 m AGL and more. Until then, in all cases where a crane is 100m or higher, users are advised notify the CAA (arops@caa.co.uk) and Defence Geographic Centre (dvof@mod.gov.uk) . The DAP 1924 form can be used as part of this process. This advice applies no matter where the crane is located.

    The following details should be provided before the crane is erected:

    • the crane's precise location
    • an accurate maximum height
    • start and completion dates
  • Lighting and marking requirements 

    Lighting and marking requirements are outlined within the published CAP 1096 pg. 3-4

    Cranes should be clearly visible which can be achieved by applying obstacle lighting and if necessary, marking.

    We recommend the following in terms of best practice.

  • In vicinity of an aerodrome 

    For obstacles of any height, including cranes, which are affecting aerodrome operations the lighting and marking requirement will be dictated by the relevant aerodrome operator in accordance with ICAO Annex 14. 

    The aerodrome will liaise directly with the relevant crane user but for general guidance on lighting and marking see the guidance below. 

    Lighting aids should be supplied with secondary power unless agreed otherwise with the aerodrome operator. 

    En-Route (Cranes 150 metres or higher above ground level)

    En-route obstacles (including cranes) of a height of 150m or more must be fitted with lighting in accordance with the ANO. Medium intensity (generically 2000 candela) steady red lights must be displayed at night and be visible from all directions (omnidirectional). 

    We recommend that lights are also displayed during the day by day. 

    Lighting aids should be supplied with secondary power unless agreed otherwise with the CAA (arops@caa.co.uk). 

    Cranes up to 150 metres above ground level

    We recommend that :

    • the guidance shown above is also followed for all cranes with a height of 45m up to 150m above ground level;
    • cranes with a height less than 45m are also lit in accordance with this guidance with the exception that low intensity (generically 32 candela) steady red lights should be used.

    Positioning of lighting

    In all cases, lights must be positioned as close as possible to the top of the crane.
    Where the top of the crane is more than 45 m AGL, additional lights should be provided at intermediate levels spaced as equally as practicable, between the top lights and ground level or the level of tops of nearby buildings, as appropriate, with the spacing not exceeding 52 m.
    Lights should also be applied to show the height and the shape of the crane (i.e. lights installed on both ends of the jib)

    In all cases, we recommend that cranes are made conspicuous by their colour, especially if they are not permanently lit. 

    Markings should:

    • be coloured to show alternating bands that contrast with each other and the background
    • be perpendicular to the longest dimension and at least 5 metres wide

    Our review has found that a yellow and black (or dark blue) pattern provides the best contrast with the background from the air, especially in urban areas.