Connect with us

Chiang Mai

Flights to Chiang Mai disrupted as smog levels soar in North

Legacy Phuket Gazette




– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Flights to Chiang Mai disrupted as smog levels soar in North
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The volume of tiny dust particles in the upper North rose beyond the safety level again yesterday and poor visibility reportedly prevented at least four flights from landing at Chiang Mai Airport.

Meanwhile, a 60-year-old Mae Hong Son man was the first person arrested this season for violating the outdoor-burning ban, which is a key measure to alleviate the smog problem.

Readings of small particulate matter up to 10 microns in diameter (PM10) were very high at Mae Hong Son and Chiang Rai at 311 micrograms per cubic metre as of 1pm.

Readings at other towns in the North were: Phayao 271mcg, Chiang Mai 279mcg, Lampang 189mcg, Lamphun 189mcg, Phrae 152mcg, Nan 141mcg and Tak 130mcg. The maximum safety level is set at 120mcg per cubic metre.

Local bodies were trying to combat the haze with various measures; Chiang Mai sent fire trucks to sprinkle water into air while Mae Hong Son requested an artificial rain-making operation to reduce the dust.

An informed source said that from 11am to 1pm, haze reduced visibility at Chiang Mai Airport to only 800 meters, which caused pilots to make a decision on whether to land.

At least four decided not to: Thai Airways Flight 102 from Bangkok had to u-turn to Suvarnabhumi Airport; SL 8504 (Lion Air) flew back to Don Mueang; while PG 241 (Bangkok Airways) from Samui and FD3161 (Air Asia) from Phuket landed at Mae Fah Luang Airport in Chiang Rai, which reportedly had its lights turned on to improve visibility.

Other flights to or from Chiang Mai continued as usual.

Meanwhile, in Myanmar, all flights to Tachilek Airport in Shan state were reportedly cancelled because of poor visibility.

In regard to the arrest for outdoor burning, Mae Hong Son Provincial Police commander Pol Maj-General Jaruek Limsuwan said yesterday that police used satellite data to detect hot spots. This led to the arrest on Sunday of Dang Maneejan, 60, as he burned weeds in his property during the ban period.

“Police are now taking violations of the burning ban seriously, so we ask people to avoid burning anything even in their own house area during the province’s 60-day ban period. And police can detect a fire from the satellite surveillance,” he warned. The ban period is March 1 to April 29.

In Phitsanulok’s Chat Trakan district, a wild fire ravaged around 500 rai (80 hectares) of forest. The blaze started on Sunday evening but was brought under control yesterday, although smoke affected 100 families living within a 2-kilometre radius.

The haze problem has hit local people’s health and daily lives, with thousands seeking medical treatment for respiratory problems. However, Isara Sathapanaset, director the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Chiang Rai office, insisted yesterday that the tourism sector was not affected, as this is the low season.

Mae Hong Son Chamber of Commerce chairman Thanit Thaitrong also said the haze wasn’t the main factor contributing to a lower number of tourists.

After a joint private committee met yesterday to discuss the impact the 10-day haze is having on Chiang Mai’s tourism sector and economy, Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce chairperson Wipawan Woraputipong said a survey showed that hotel bookings had not yet been cancelled.

However, visitors from other regions of Thailand have either dropped or postponed their visit to the province, she added. Calling on all sides to help solve the haze problem, she warned that the impact would worsen if the haze continued for a prolonged period. The joint private committee will also offer recommendations to the Chiang Mai governor later, she added.

Since the biggest contributor to haze was the burning of agricultural waste and setting fire to clear land, she said they could not just blame villagers. Instead, she said, the authorities should also look at business operators who buy the produce, like contract-farming companies or the public sector that supports cash crops.

She said these groups should be responsible of finding ways to properly dispose agricultural waste or the government could consider raising tax as a means of resolving the problem at the root.

— Phuket Gazette Editors


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Guides2 mins ago

10 amazing animal sanctuaries in Thailand

Coronavirus Vaccines7 mins ago

Thai health minister says all target groups will be fully vaccinated by year end

Coronavirus (Covid-19)27 mins ago

Amended communicable disease law includes powers to retain curfew, order lockdowns

Sponsored18 hours ago

HOMA is now offering fully-serviced, affordable lifestyle apartments in Phuket Town.

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Phuket47 mins ago

Police suddenly began raiding Patong bars selling alcohol

Bangkok48 mins ago

Officials say Bangkok could re-open from November 1, if 70% are vaccinated

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Thursday Covid Update: 131 deaths and 13,256 new cases

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Visa1 hour ago

New deadline to apply for Covid visa extension confirmed as November 26

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Disease control amendment in the works; reopening delays | September 22

South17 hours ago

5 billion baht loss as birds’ nest producing swiftlets found dead

Crime17 hours ago

Ex-cop “Joe Ferrari,” other officers charged with violating discipline policy over suspect’s death

Thailand17 hours ago

5 Pattani men arrested for allegedly posing as police officers to extort locals

World18 hours ago

Thai woman tricked into human trafficking in Dubai brought home safely

Phuket19 hours ago

Alleged cable thief busted in Phuket, accomplice possibly still at large

Thailand19 hours ago

Thaiger Bites | Your Feedback and Comments! | Ep. 23

Guides19 hours ago

Bangkok’s best fresh markets to visit

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11