Air­port ad­justs flights for safety dur­ing Yi Peng Lan­tern fes­ti­val

The Nation - - AROUND THAILAND -

Chi­ang Mai In­ter­na­tional Air­port has resched­uled and can­celled some flights be­tween Fri­day and Satur­day as a safety mea­sure dur­ing the Yi Peng Lan­tern fes­ti­val, the air­port’s di­rec­tor said on Mon­day.

The fes­ti­val is usu­ally held dur­ing the full moon pe­riod when peo­ple re­lease sky lanterns as a sym­bolic ges­ture to free them­selves of the ills and mis­for­tune of the pre­vi­ous year. How­ever, the large num­ber of lanterns in the sky could be a danger to avi­a­tion.

The fes­ti­val is held at the same time as Loi Krathong Day on Fri­day.

Di­rec­tor Mon­thanik Rakngam said 157 flights had been af­fected by the mea­sures.

“As of to­day, 78 flights, com­pris­ing 58 do­mes­tic and 20 in­ter­na­tional flights, have been can­celled while 79 others, 53 do­mes­tic and 26 in­ter­na­tional flights, have been resched­uled,” Mon­thanik said.

He said the mea­sure would not af­fect ser­vices and pas­sen­gers as air­lines had been ad­vised in ad­vance and al­ter­na­tive ar­range­ments were made.

Mon­thanik said the air­port had also strength­ened se­cu­rity mea­sures dur­ing the fes­ti­val.

Ran­dom searches will be made on ve­hi­cles com­ing into the air­port com­pound, and the air­port au­thor­ity will in­crease the fre­quency of run­way checks for lanterns that have fallen into the com­pound.

“We have asked for co­op­er­a­tion from gov­ern­ment agen­cies and the pri­vate sec­tor about guide­lines for the safe re­lease of lanterns,” he said.

Chi­ang Mai au­thor­i­ties’ have an­nounced that fire lanterns can only be re­leased dur­ing Yi Peng and Loy Krathong fes­ti­vals be­tween 7pm and 1am. Smoke lanterns can be re­leased on Fri­day be­tween 10am and noon.

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