CAMPAIGN groups were banned from flying a banner over Trump’s Turnberry course today – because it had been branded a ‘no-fly zone’.
38 Degrees, a political activism organisation, had arranged for a “Love Trumps Hate” banner to be flown peacefully over the luxury resort as part of a campaign.
But they were told the morning of the scheduled flight that the area had been branded a no-fly zone by air traffic control.
The decision meant that the banner, which was crowd-funded by online sponsors, had to be flown further north over Largs.
And organisers have condemned the decision, describing it as a “heavy handed” attempt to restrict freedom of speech.
Stewart Kirkpatrick, Head of Scotland at 38 Degrees said: “We’re disappointed that Donald Trump won’t see our members’ positive message. There is nothing threatening or offensive about it.
“‘Love trumps hate’, is a simple statement to Donald Trump – and others – that hate and intolerance have no place in our country. It is a symbolic gesture but also a rallying cry to people across the UK to continue to work for peace and democracy.
“Our plan for a plane has made headlines round the world so our message has got through. And we’ll still fly the plane – so our message will be seen today – but this seems like a heavy-handed decision to restrict freedom of speech and crack down on legitimate protest.“
The request for a no-fly zone was made by Police Scotland and implemented by the Civil Aviation Authority.
The official no-fly notice reads: “Restricted area (temporary) at Turnberry, Ayrshire.
“No aircraft is to fly within circle area of 1.5 nautical mile radius centered on Turnberry except aircraft flying in the service of Police Scotland, flying in the service of the Scottish Air Ambulance Service, flying in the service of the Maritime and Coastguard agency or flying in accordance with the permission of the Police Scotland Air Accidents and Incidents Advisor.”
It also states: “This restriction of flying also relates to the operation of all unmanned aircraft systems.”
Trump arrived at Turnberry this morning for the reopening of the refurbished Open venue golf course.
He was met by Stand Up To Trump protesters, campaigners holding anti-racism placards and even a mariachi band.
During a speech he said it was a “great thing” that the people of the UK have “taken back their country” in voting to leave the EU.
A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “A temporary restriction on airspace has been implemented for 1.5 nautical miles in a radius of up to 2000ft from the ground across the area of Turnberry for the duration of Friday.
“This is to ensure the safety of individuals on the ground and does not affect common aircraft or emergency services.”