The Highlands of Scotland offers some of the most spectacular flying in the UK, on the right day! Progressive access laws coupled with spectacular and largely uninhabited mountain landscapes make for exciting, challenging and potentially hugely rewarding flying experiences.
The Highland Club welcomes visiting pilots from all over the world. We encourage you to contact us if you want to fly in the Highlands.
Not only will we welcome you but we will assist you in finding suitable sites, navigating our unpredictable Scottish weather, our access laws and quirky land management customs.
We have a number of sites at which we have negotiated special access agreements with landowners and it is vital that you contact us before flying any of these sites.
Scotland has a long standing tradition of red deer stalking and grouse shooting, which take place right across the Highlands at certain times of year. It is vital that we respect these practices and work with land owners and managers to maintain the access that we currently enjoy.
Please get in touch. You’ll find us a very friendly and welcoming bunch!
Sites with Access Agreements
Over many years special access agreements have been agreed with land owners and Inverness Airport. It is vital that all pilots – whether resident or visiting – adhere to these agreements.
This coastal soaring site, which works on a sea breeze or a NE met wind between about 7 and 9 miles an hour can accommodate a small number of gliders and is often popular on summer evenings.
Prior to flying at Alturlie pilots MUST phone Dalcross Airport Control Tower on 01667 464000 and advise the duty controller of their intention to fly. You will be asked for a flight ceiling (usually 300ft AGL) and the number of pilots active. Alturlie can only really accommodate 2 or 3 gliders in the air at the same time.
It is essential that the last pilot to leave the site also phones the Control Tower to advise that flying activity has ceased for the day. This is a delicate site, in full view of the Control Tower and incoming/out-going air traffic. It is highly likely that the access situation will change in the future as airspace changes to Inverness Airport are currently in the pipeline. It is therefore vital that any pilot flying at Alturlie adheres to these arrangements.
There is currently no access to Cairngorm via the funicular.
The Highland Club is currently in discussion with the relevant bodies over possible future access. In the meantime pedestrian access is open to all, but please act responsibly and try to avoid entering conservation areas (anything outside of Coire Cas or Coire Ciste).