A team of local authorities inspected various lantern and krathong vendors across the city today in anticipation of the festival at the end of the month. According to inspectors, all products must meet standards and confirm with regulations set, including have clear labels as to where they are made, etc. Krisada Pukasup, Deputy Director of Chiang Mai International Airport, Airports of Thailand PCL announced practical guidelines to protect the safety of airplanes from flying lanterns during Yi Peng (Loy Krathong) of 2020 to be held as the Air Navigation Act (No. 14) amended by B.E. 2562 (2019).
The government announced the security and safety standards of people lighting and releasing flying lanterns, balloons or any other similar flying objects into the sky on 9th September 2019 which forbids the lighting and releasing of floating lanterns, balloons or any similar objects which could affect aviation safety in five districts including:
1. Muang (cover all districts)
2. Hang Dong (cover all districts)
3. Saraphee (Khua Mung, Don Kaew, Tha Wang Tan, Nong Phueng)
4. Mae Rim (Dong Kaew, Rim Tai, Mae Sa)
5. Sansai (Nong Harn)
Those who violate these regulations will be punished with imprisonment of no more than five years and/or a fine of not over 200,000 baht or both.
Those in areas outside the navigation safety zone are required to follow the Chiang Mai Province announcement. No person is allowed to light or fly lanterns, balloons or any similar objects into the sky unless a permit is obtained from local district chiefs, and even then, they will have to follow strict criteria set by authorities. Schedules allowing for the flying of lanterns, balloons or similar objects are as follows: on Loy Krathong day, full moon day of the Thai twelfth lunar month (31st October 2020), all objects except for smoke lanterns can be released between 7pm and 1am (of the 1st November 2020). On the first waning moon day of Thai twelfth lunar month (1st November 2020), flying lanterns and similar objects are allowed between 7pm and 1am (of the 2nd November).
The permits for releasing lanterns must be obtained at least 15 days in advance (tomorrow!) and those seeking permits must notify the Chiang Mai International Airport or Chiang Mai Air Traffic Control Center seven days prior.