Guidance & Permits

  • Drones

    Lerwick Port Authority approval is required for all commercial drone filming at Lerwick Harbour. All commercial requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and operators will be required to provide evidence of CAA permission, pilot accreditation, flight plan, risk assessments and public liability insurance.

    Personal drone use at the Port of Lerwick must demonstrate compliance with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requirements and ensure that prior notification from Lerwick Port Authority has been obtained.

    Any unauthorised drone flights may be reported for further investigation and action.

    The CAA website gives full details for the use of drones. All drone flying must comply with the Dronecode which sets out the regulations in brief, including that drones with cameras must not be flown within a specified distance of people, vessels or structures and cannot be flown over congested areas.

  • Event Requests

    Lerwick Harbour is a prime location for activities and major events which celebrate Shetland’s rich maritime heritage and seafaring community.

    Any event organiser wishing to hold an event at the port, must complete an Event Request Form to gain prior approval from Lerwick Port Authority, giving at least a months’ notice from the date of the start of the event. To receive an Event Request form, please email Lerwick Port Authority.

    Submissions must demonstrate that any risk to the general public, the safety of navigation, or disruption to port users has been effectively mitigated. Event organisers must also demonstrate they have consulted with, and/or met the requirements of Shetland Islands Council, Police, HM Coastguard or any other local emergency services where appropriate.

    Charges may apply for any services provided by Lerwick Port Authority, at the expense of the event organiser.

  • Filming and photography

    As Britain’s most northerly commercial port and one of the Scotland’s busiest cruise ports, Lerwick Harbour is a popular choice for commercial filming and photography.

    Any filming or photography which represents a departure from what is recognised as a regular or routine activity within public areas of the port should not take place until approval has been obtained from Lerwick Port Authority.

    Filming and photography is classed as either commercial or corporate if it meets the following criteria:

    • Includes film and TV productions, commercials, documentaries or educational materials.
    • Marketing, educational or corporate material for service providers, operators, partners, stakeholders and official contractors, including online usage and social media.

    Being a busy commercial port, filming can provide operational and security challenges. Although we aim to be as helpful as possible, there may be occasions where we are unable to facilitate requests for these reasons. Location fees and/or charges may apply for any services provided by Lerwick Port Authority.

    A minimum of one week’s notice prior to the filming or photography date is required to process filming requests by contacting Lerwick Port Authority.

    See also Drones above.

  • Harbour Byelaws and Directions

    Mariners and port users should be familiar with Lerwick Harbour Byelaws and Directions which apply across all onshore and on-water activities within harbour limits.

  • Personal Water Craft

    A Personal Water Craft is any vessel referred to as a jet ski, wet bike, water scooter, fun craft or other similar description which is designed to carry a person or persons standing, kneeling, sitting or prone upon the vessel which is propelled by a jet engine or other means of propulsion. Any person operating a Personal Water Craft within Lerwick Harbour comes under the oversight of the Port Authority and must abide its requirements. The following documents describe established good practice to ensure that you do not endanger yourself or others, or cause harm to the environment and wildlife.

  • Workplace Transport

    Vehicles at work are a major cause of fatal and major injuries. All employers have a duty to manage the risks posed by workplace transport, to employees and others. As part of the Authority’s duties we have, in discussion with the Health and Safety Executive, produced a Workplace Transport Policy. Whilst it is the responsibility of individual companies to meet their legal duties in relation to workplace transport, it is hoped that the policy shall help to ensure that all port users work together to maintain safety standards.

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