69 flights rescheduled due to Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai

Photo by John Shedrick via Flickr

Chiang Mai International Airport has rescheduled 69 flights to avoid danger from flying objects during the Lantern Festival between November 8 and 9. The airport has cancelled 55 flights, rescheduled 14, and is offering six special flights to support passengers.

The Lantern Festival or Yi Peng Festival in Chaing Mai is a Thai northern cultural activity involving locals flying lanterns into the sky to ask for forgiveness from the Goddess of Water, who Thais call Phra Mae Kong Ka, and worship Buddha. Locals also believe that their bad luck disappears with the flying lanterns.

Flying lanterns are obviously a danger to aircraft trying to land so the government has taken precautions to maintain the region’s traditional culture and the safety of those in the sky and on the ground.

This year, locals and tourists in Chiang Mai will be allowed to fly their lanterns only on Loy Krathong Day on November 8 and 9 from 7pm to 1am.

To plan an activity or event like a Lantern Festival, organisers must ask for permission from the district chief 30 days in advance and notify Chiang Mai International Airport or Chiang Mai Air Traffic Control Tower 14 days in advance.

The Air Navigation Safety Zone, or airspace above the airport and nearby areas, does not allow lanterns to float in the area. The area covers six districts in Chiang Mai, including Meng Chiang Mai district, Saraphi district, San Sai district, Hang Dong district, Mae Rim district, and San Pa Tong district.

For passengers’ safety, Chiang Mai International Airport staff investigate the area around the airport 10 times a day. Officials also monitor and remove any lanterns that might have accidentally fallen onto the aviation area.

Anyone who fails to follow the rules and conditions according to the Air Navigation Act could face imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of up to 200,000 baht.

Chiang Mai NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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