Queensferry Crossing


Aerodrome safeguarding aims to ensure the safety of all aircraft in the vicinity of an aerodrome by controlling potentially hazardous developments and activities around it. This includes the control of lighting around an aerodrome. It is important to assess the location, height, brightness, as well as type and patterns of any lighting schemes to ensure no light is directed or pointed towards aircraft.

In 2011, the Queensferry Crossing began construction, with lighting being apart of the design in the earlier stages of planning. Nyree worked with the civil engineers on the lighting design for the Queensferry Crossing to ensure it met all of Edinburgh Airport Aerodrome Safeguarding lighting requirements as well as EASA/CAA regulation.

The Challenge

There were a few challenges faced during the commissioning of the Queensferry Crossing:

  • The Queensferry crossing lighting design team were looking to match the colour of lighting to the Forth Road Bridge, However Safeguarding was not a requirement when the Forth Road Bridge was designed, which resulted in a different lighting specification

  • The EASA legislation outlines specific lighting requirement which was difficult for the engineers to procure, as the weight and width of the recommended lighting was not safe to place on the lighting columns

  • In order for the lighting to be installed, the temporary construction light was switched off, this cause the suspension of lighting on the bridge, which was an increase safety risks for pilots

  • Tight time scales were required to ensure that approval design was accepted from an aviation perspective, prior to the opening date of the crossing.

The Process

The process started when the civil engineers submitted the lighting plans to Edinburgh Airport. This was assessed against the following Safeguarding requirements:

  • Safeguarding lighting assessment, which included an analysis of the night and low visibility lighting of the bridge. Pilots rely on a particular pattern of aeronautical ground lights, principally the approach & runway lights, to assist in aligning the aircraft with the runway to land at the correct point and not confuse or dazzle pilots as they approach into Edinburgh Airport                                                                 


The following need to be taken into consideration:

  • Aeronautical ground lighting was not obscured by the tower a pilot’s view

  • The lighting of the towers did not clash in colour or pattern which could cause confusion with aeronautical lighting

  • The proposed lighting will not have the potential for glare or dazzle to pilots

  • Warning lights on obstacles are intended to visually indicate the presence of hazards to aircraft operating at low level. This applies particularly during take‐off and landing at night and in poor daylight visibility. The aerodrome safeguarding process will determine whether a proposed development needs obstacle lights to be fitted. This is also applicable to temporary obstacles such as cranes as well as permanent structures

  • The South Tower of the Queensferry Crossing infringed Edinburgh Airport's obstacle limitation surfaces, so it was very important that we collected accurate height details of the lighting installation with the correct light specification to be formally assessed by NATS and the CAA in terms of flight safety operations and impacts to any of the airport's of navigational aids.

The following principles were accepted and  lighting specification and design was agreed with the civil engineers. Planning permission was granted by Edinburgh Airport.​