Safeguarding And Crane Operations

London HeliportSafeguarding & Crane Operations

Guidance To Crane Operators

The operation of cranes in the vicinity of an aerodrome may have a direct impact on the safety of aircraft and aviation.

The aviation law and regulations that control such activities are contained in two Civil Aviation Authority publication as follows:

  • Air Navigation : The Order and the Regulations (CAP393)
  • Licensing of Aerodromes (CAP 168).

The operators of cranes must refer to:

  • British Standard Institute Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Cranes (BS 7121).

In addition the following documents are also available:

Safety Requirements

In order to co-ordinate the safe operation of cranes in the vicinity of the London Heliport any proposed crane operation within 6 kilometres at heights of 10 metres above ground level or that of the surrounding structures or trees, must be notified to the London Heliport Operations Department.

Notification and Permission

​Crane operators and/or developers should contact the London Heliport at least one month in advance of any proposed crane operations to find out if there are any limitations or regulatory procedures that may apply to the proposed crane operation.

​Taller cranes (over 300ft/ 91.4 metres) should also be notified to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and be entered into a national digital database of tall buildings and structures.

​Individual cranes or clusters of cranes on larger development sites may also be subject to notification to the aviation community via a specific “Notice to Airmen” (NOTAM).

​In the case of very tall cranes or cranes of any height in the immediate vicinity of the London Heliport it may be necessary for the applicant to develop and co-ordinate a suitable safety case including detailed lighting scheme and management plan including specific restrictions on the operation of the crane.

Crane Permit Application

A Crane Permit Application Form should be completed and sent to the London Heliport.

The following information will be required from the crane operator:

  • Crane Designator
  • Crane Operating Company
  • Main Site Development Contractor
  • Location of the crane (General location/ Project Name, Address, Post Code, OS Grid reference
  • Maximum operating/ resting height in metres Above Ordnance Datum (AOD), or the height of crane Above Ground Level (AGL) plus ground level in AOD of the jib, cab or cantilever apex of the structure, whichever is highest. Details of heights and dates should be provided if the height of any crane changes over the course of the development.
  • Crane Type (Tower/Saddle jib, Luffing jib, Mobile, Other)
  • Radius of the jib/boom of a fixed crane/the area of operation of a mobile crane (including a site plan to show extent of jib “over-sailing”);
  • Planned dates (period) and hours of operation;
  • Applicant name and contact details
  • Site/ Crane Operator contact details (including out of hours contact)
  • Where the crane is located in the immediate vicinity of the heliport protected approach, take-off and other zones within the “circuit” specific assessment and assurances will be necessary to ensure that no operational restrictions will need to be applied crane operations and to ensure that the jib does not over-sail these safeguarded/ protected surfaces and therefore pose a hazard to air traffic, particularly where they are in critical phases of flight.
  • Site Plan
  • Side elevation illustration of the crane (including maximum height of structure)
  • Crane Plan (detailing duration of cranes on site i.e. erection/ dismantling dates, dates of any planned changes in height of structure)

Once these details have been considered it will be determined whether the operation can proceed and whether restrictions will apply. Any of the following may be imposed on the crane operator to ensure the safety of aircraft:

  • The fitting of obstacle lights;
  • Restrictions on crane operating times;
  • Crane operations dependent on the runway in use;
  • Restrictions on crane operating height and radius; and
  • Restrictions during poor visibility (whether caused by fog or low cloud).

Crane operators are also required to notify:

  • Any failure of lighting (so that a warning can be passed to air traffic)
  • When planned or previously un-notified changes occur in the arrangement or sequence of crane erection within the site crane plan. This could occur on sites where tall buildings are under construction where a secondary, higher crane is erected to replace a smaller crane from an earlier phase of the site development or on sites where a general re-configuration of the profile of the cranes on site (or type of cranes used) occurs.
  • To confirm close to the specified erection and dismantling dates that these operations will be going ahead as planned, including arrangements where necessary of temporary mobile cranes used for these operations.