Airport adjusts flights for safety during Yi Peng Lantern festival
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.