Mae Fah Luang airport in Chiang Rai has issued an announcement asking members of the public not to release sky lanterns during the Loy Krathong or Yeepeng festival between November 13-15 from 9 pm to 1 am of the following day.
However, releasing sky lanterns or small hot-air balloons from 10 am to noon time on the Loy Krathong Day on November 14 is permissible, according to the announcement.
The areas where this traditional practice of the northern people is not allowed include Muang, Mae Lao, Parn, Wiang Chai, Chiang Rung and Pa Dad districts which are within the flight paths.
The airport director, Mr Visoot Kamyod, said the control tower used to detect some big sky lanterns with steel structure instead of wooden structure and paper and equipped with a small camping gas tank as fuel.
Such lanterns, he noted poise a real danger to pilots, forcing them to change their flight routes in order to avoid possible collision with the lanterns.
During last year Loy Krathong festival, about 20 sky lanterns which were released from somewhere else fell on the airport compound, said Mr Visoot.
He warned that violators may face a fine of 60,000 baht and/or three-year jailterm for releasing sky lanterns in a way which pose danger to aircraft.
As a precaution, he disclosed that the airport has doubled daily patrol of the runway from 8 to 16 times a day.