Visakhapatnam: The increasing popularity of sky lanterns and air balloons for advertising in areas surrounding the Vizag Airport has become a matter of serious concern to the airport authorities.
Sky lanterns are being released not only during Sankranti or Diwali, but people in the city are releasing them to mark ceremonies like marriages and birthdays. For promotion and to ensure better visibility, demand for sky balloons is also increasing.
The hot-air balloons and fire lamps hovering around the airport in cities may be a cause for trouble, according to reports. As per the Indian aviation rules, flying instruments like paragliders, hot balloons, drones, sky lanterns are not allowed in the approach path of airport’s runway. When contacted, Vizag Airport director Vinod Sharma said, “Even as flying objects like balloons or fire lamps do not create trouble for flights, we will be bringing in some restrictions for use of these flying objects to avoid safety issues. Air-port in Mumbai has faced problems due to lanterns and balloons. In Vizag, people residing close to the airport, like NAD and areas falling within a radius of 10-km need to be careful while releasing any flying objects.”
It is difficult to predict how high the lanterns will fly and which direction it will move. “If the sky balloon size is bigger and it is coming in the approach path of the runaways, people should take prior permission from the Airport Traffic Control officials before using them,” he added.
The airport director also stressed on the need of creating awareness among the general public with regards to laws regarding flying objects like hot air balloons, drones and lanterns.
The use of laser beams in night at open stage shows for music or dance events, marriage parties is also emerging as a source of distraction for planes flying at low altitudes.
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