By Nisanart Kangwanwong
The two events – one at the dinosaur-featuring Hidden Village Chiang Mai attraction in tambon San Phisua and the other at the Royal Park Rajapruek in tambon Mae Hia – were deemed to be within the air navigation safety zone.
Releasing hot-air flying lanterns would be a violation of the Thailand Air Navigation Act (14th edition) which has been in effect since May 26, 2019, said Muang district chief Weerapan Dee-on. He noted the violation carries a penalty of a maximum five-year imprisonment and/or a maximum Bt200,000 fine.
The move stemmed from the Chiang Mai governor’s policy to require ensure that the Chiang Mai Airport approves events within five district that may have been within the official air navigation safety zone – Muang (all tambons), Hang Dong (all tambons), Saraphi (the four tambons of Kua Mung, Don Kaew, Tha Wang Tan, and Nong Pheung), Mae Rim (the three tambons of Don Kaew, Rim Tai and Mae Sa) and San Sai (tambon Nong Han).
The governor had instructed the district chiefs to ask the airport authority to confirm whether event locations within their jurisdictions that were usually granted permits to release flying lanterns were deemed within the restricted zone. If so, the permits would be immediately revoked.
The annual Loy Krathong Festival, widely known in Chiang Mai as Yi Peng Festival, is highlighted by people launching flying lanterns into the sky so as to be rid of bad luck. As the items could pose a danger to aviation, the release time periods and locations have been limited.