CityNews – On 8th October 2019, Flg. Off. Thananrat Prasertsri, Deputy Director of Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX), AOT said that over the past many years various airlines have considered cancelling flights to Chiang Mai over the Loy Krathong festival in fear of risks to their engines from flying lanterns. This year, CNX has already issued a letter to all relevant airlines informing them of the upcoming festival and it’s now the time to consider whether to take firmer measures. Over the period of the festival last year there were cancellations and rescheduling of a total of 148 flights. It is expected that this year will be similar. All airlines are expected to inform tourists and passengers in advance so that they can plan their trips appropriately.
CNX has also sent a co-operative request to relevant government offices and local administrative organisations, including temples, educational institutions, and communities within areas relating to aviation safety by stressing the importance of the Thailand Air Navigation Act (No. 14) 2019 Section 33 which doesn’t allow the public to light fireworks, lanterns, balloons or any other similar objects into the sky which would cause danger to aviation or carrier operations. If the activities are outside of aviation safety zones, then it is best to simply ask local authorities for whatever measurements they have in place. To facilitate full understanding of the rules and regulations, CNX has opened a specific Line application group for the public to check what areas are allowed to launch flying lanterns in Chiang Mai between 8th to 31st October 2019.
CNX said that a total of 86 people or groups requested permission to launch lanterns totalling 50,437 flying lanterns and 329 balloons which resulted in 114 lanterns falling onto CNX airport grounds. CNX said that it would like to support the Loy Krathong festival but it needs to consider the safety of passengers and airline carriers which is very important to aviation and gaining trust with the international community. So, all parties are requested to follow Thailand Air Navigation Act (No. 14) 2019 and Chiang Mai authority announcement 2016 to the strictest letter of the law.