Perth Airport chiefs have been forced to warn the public against trespassing on their runways after a series of near-misses with aircrafts over the past year.
Bosses released an official statement urging people to stay safe and utilise the network of paths around the area instead when enjoying the countryside, after a range of incidents since the first lockdown.
Some of those included dog walkers, children on quadbikes and golfers, all illegally making their way onto runways at the airport, which is located a couple of miles north of Scone, and potentially bringing themselves and pilots into harm’s way.
The statement read: “In 2003, the Scotland Land Reform Act came into force, which established a statutory right of responsible access over most areas of land. There are some obvious common-sense restrictions which include Perth Airport.
“Perth Airport has six runways made from tarmac and grass. The airfield is open for flights 24 hours a day and it is an offence to enter the airfield without prior permission from the airport operator.
“Perth Airport has encountered several near misses during the past 12 months with residents walking dogs, children playing on quadbikes, golfing, and picnics on active runways.
“Thankfully, none of the recent incidents have resulted in serious injury.
“Anyone on the airfield without permission will be reported to Police Scotland and the UK Civil Aviation Authority, the airport operator will pursue legal action against anyone jeopardising aviation safety.
“There are paths and tracks that allow safe passage around the perimeter of the airfield.
“Should you have any questions or need to seek further clarity then please contact us directly.”
Used as a base for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance, along with private and business aircrafts and pilot training, the airport has neighbouring houses and a business park.
As many as 300 flights are currently taking off and touching down at the facility each day.
Clueless ramblers have unwittingly stumbled beyond warning signs and onto the busy runways in recent months, to the fear and despair of staff.
ACS Aviation managing director Graeme Frater said among those recently moved from the runway was a five-year-old on a quad bike.
He said: “We don’t have a perimeter fence like Glasgow Airport. It wouldn’t be practical.
“We’ve increased signage and CCTV and have regular perimeter inspections, but often it’s pilots who are about to touch down who alert us and we have to go and move people on.
“People aren’t very polite about it and like to challenge it.
“Before lockdown, we’d occasionally get a walker who’d ended up there by accident. One of the runways is grass, so the tarmac ones are maybe more obvious.
“But over the last year, it’s completely changed and attitudes are different. It’s happening weekly.
“We want to communicate that the dangers are huge. We’ve spoken to other airports across the country and it’s happening there too.”
Mr Frater also explained that over lockdown an increase in the use of drones has been a thorn in the side of airport security, with staff facing more than one alert per day in 2021.
He added: “We’ve seen a 500% increase in use of drones and we’ve had to install drone tracking software in the control tower.
“We’ve had 122 alerts in the last three months.”