Glasgow Necropolis

Edited for the Doors Open Day Digital Festival starting tomorrow.

not added to dronescene access almost impossible


It was a commission from the “Friends of Glasgow Necropolis” so I started with advantages vis a vis access and a positive attitude (towards them) from the city council.

Here’s what was required:-

  • Permission to Fly in a Congested Area from CAA
  • Permission to fly in a cemetery (lots of stuff involved in this from Police and Cemetery Management)
  • Permission to Use a space managed by Glasgow City Council (PTU) lots of conditions applied to this around info and timing and keeping the public safe (many hundreds of thousands of tourists each year so it really is busy)
  • Liason with Police Scotland Air Services (they frequently fly lower than 400 ft in this area in response to emergencies / searches / chases (and they’re based about a mile and a half away)
  • Liason with NATS at Glasgow Airport - (although not in FRZ it’s in their Schedule D space and they do like to know - the police will tell them anyway)
  • Detailed planning submitted to all agencies including 3D plots of flight paths out of Google Earth
  • Mitigation to avoid public incursion - Glasgow City Council not keen to close the cemetery for filming unless paid huge amounts of cash - so in my case this meant 15 radio linked marshals to inform public and ask them to either take a different route or agree to be under my control.

Oh and I forgot the signage and leaflets that had to be available in 12 languages (English, Urdu, Polish, French and top 8)


Excellent. A big tick in the “drones for good” column :slight_smile: Presumably the planning included detailed plans for each flight - heights, route, camera angles etc. Was it all hand flown or did you use software? How much did you shoot to get the final. edited result?

Thank you for your Big Tick :smiley:,

All hand flown but I did use Litchi to do the planning so heights, routes, duration etc even “impact energy” for some spots such as the entrance facade and the big monument - all detailed and annotated. I’m not sure the various parties knew why they were asking for the detail or if they actually do have a strategy for these things. Just more hoops to jump through. It did mean that I used the Phantom 4 Pro more than the Inspire 1 X5 just to reduce energy of any potential collision.

Litchi plots were exported as kml files to Google Earth to get 3D images of routes. Wasn’t confident of letting Litchi fly it as there had been lots of growth in the trees so I didn’t feel that it was going to be hugely accurate.

Shot loads of stuff for various purposes - what’s here is probably about 5%

Had an e-mail conversation a couple of weeks ago with the Sergeant who led for Police Scotland (he’s now an Inspector) He’d been made aware that the material was to go public and said he was slightly concerned that when people saw it they’d get the idea it was a good place to fly. He’d be briefing, he said, to make sure the police would be acting to prevent it becoming a “hot spot”.


I too use Litchi and Google Earth to plan flights and agree with you about tree growth or, in more extreme cases, a housing estate having sprung up on the open land still showing on Google!

Is that the most complex job you have come across for permissions and various bodies involved? I used to write method statements to be allowed on Network Rail stations so I appreciate how much effort can go into paperwork before undertaking a simple task

Yeah I think from the number of agencies involved it was the most complex.
Although civils and construction can be pretty demanding too from the methods POV.

Is this not what COVID was supposed to solve?