Public Safety

We are committed to working with our stakeholders to keep members of the public informed of any issues or activities that may affect them. Local residents, businesses and visitors to the area need to be aware of the hazardous nature of activities conducted on the Range. They are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the restrictions imposed regarding access and health and safety.

Information for Local Communities

  • It is dangerous to pass any line of Red Warning Boards, Red Flags and when the RED BEACONS are lit.
  • Please refer to the Public Access Section for information on when and how you can have access to Range Areas.

Range Trials – Information for the Crofting Community

In addition to the information contained in the Public Access section of this website, the following will be of use to the Crofting Communities of West Gerinish and Iochdar:

  1. Before a Trial commences, the Range will be fully flagged and the barriers closed a minimum of thirty minutes before the commencement of activities. The Red flashing lights at North Vedette and Building 58 (Met Station) at the entrance to Rangehead are also switched on.
  2. Although the barriers are closed and the flags are up, access may be granted by approaching the Range Safety Staff at Gate 5, North or South Vedettes. It may be possible to gain prior knowledge as to whether access may be granted by phoning the Range Controller on Freephone 0800 0561630 or 01870 604449.
  3. As soon as the Trial is complete, the Range will switch off the Red flashing lights at North Vedette and Building 58 (Met Station) at the entrance to Rangehead and the Red flags will be lowered as soon as possible.
  4. On occasions when early morning or late evening and night trials take place, firings will not take place between the hours of 2330hrs and 0600hrs.

Information for Mariners

For safety, parts of the Range Danger Area are temporarily cleared of shipping during firings.

  • Do not enter the Sea Danger Area when RED FLAGS are hoisted or RED BEACONS are lit
  • The RED BEACONS will be switched on and FLASH 30 minutes before firing begins and during the activity.

For the inshore areas announcements are made over VHF marine band radio at the start and end of activity. You may also be approached by one of our Range safety vessels. We request your co-operation for the safety of all concerned.

Larger scale activities occurring in the off-shore areas rely on Navigational warnings in place of radio announcements. The Range or a maritime patrol aircraft will call individual vessels as required using VHF Marine band radio.

What should I do before setting out?

Check the weekly Range Activity Programme for a guide to the active areas. Please note that the Programme may change at short notice with no opportunity to publish an update. Please always call for advice, latest updates and further details.

What should I do on the water?
  • Ensure your radar reflector is mounted correctly.
  • If an Automatic Information System is fitted ensure that it is powered and setup correctly.
  • Keep your VHF marine band radio on and listen for broadcasts on Channel 16 and 10/11.
  • You may be approached by one of our Range safety vessels. We request your co-operation for the safety of all concerned.
Telephone

Range Control: +44 (0)1870 604449 or +44 (0)1870 604435

(Monday-Thursday, 08:30-17:00 & Friday 08:30-16:30 local time)

Recorded information out-of-hours

VHF

Channel 16 and 10/11 when the Range is active.

Please note that the Range monitors and records CCTV coverage of the inshore-areas for the purposes of safety monitoring and investigation. Members of the general public may be recorded by these cameras while out at sea. All recordings are held at MOD Hebrides and, unless a safety incident has occurred, they are erased after one calendar month.

Information for Pilots

Due to the hazardous nature of the work carried out at MOD Hebrides Ranges, Air Danger Areas are established in the airspace above and to the west of the Uists, when any of the Ranges EGD701A to EGD701Z inclusive are active. The active areas are notified to pilots by Notice To Airmen (NOTAM). Pilots can access NOTAM information via the UK Aeronautical Information Publication.

Scottish Information on 127.275 MHz provides a Danger Area Activity Information Service (DAAIS) to warn pilots of aircraft flying outside controlled airspace, when the Ranges are active. Additionally, Benbecula Aerodrome broadcasts Range activity information as part of an Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) on 113.950 MHz. Pre-flight information can be obtained from Range Control on 01870-604449.

Pilots of all aircraft types, including microlights and Para-gliders, must familiarise themselves with the above restrictions.

Unidentified Objects

Due to the hazardous nature of activities that are conducted by QinetiQ at MOD Hebrides Ranges, there is a minor risk that vessels may from time to time discover unidentified objects which may include Unexploded Ordnance (UXO).

Further guidance is contained in the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Marine Guidance Note, MGN 323, and in the Notice to Mariners No. 5 on the UKHO website (please ensure you look under the annual tab then click item No.05).

Any person who finds any metal object, such as projectile, shell or any unidentified explosive object or part of such object should immediately contact the Coastguard VHF Ch.16.

FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY DO NOT TOUCH OR ATTEMPT TO REMOVE SUCH OBJECTS.