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Department of Civil Aviation tells Public Floating Lanterns Dangerous

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Thai authorities have made repeated efforts to enforce laws regulating the sky lanterns, which consist of small paper balloons buoyed by a flaming paper wick, but so far to little avail.

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CHIANG RAI – General Somchai Piputwat Director of the Department of Civil Aviation of Thailand (DCA) is asking the public not to release floating lanterns or homemade flying objects as they could be dangerous to aviation.

Pieces of the paper lantern that got stuck in a plane engine

Pieces of the paper lantern that got stuck in a plane engine

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Gen.Somchai Piputwat, said today that the DCA has publicized its preventive measures against flying lanterns, as they are now being released into the air all year round.

Using the lanterns is no longer confined to ancient tradition as seen in the North of Thailand. They have been used as marketing gimmicks and in competitions across Thailand in recent years.

Inventors have improved the lanterns so that they are able to stay in the air for a longer period of time and reach a higher altitude. DCA Director General Somchai said they are sometimes seen floating in a plane’s flight path.

Chemicals used in making the lanterns could very well damage and compromise the safety of the an aircraft and passengers.

Mr. Somchai said since there are no laws governing such activities, revelers should be aware of the grave danger they represent and their potential to put at risk the lives of passengers on a plane. He called on revelers to be careful about where they release the lanterns.

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