With the Chinese New Year being marked over a two week period from today (03 February), the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is calling on all organisers of sky lantern releases to register the event in advance so that airports such as Exeter can warn airspace users of the tea light powered paper lanterns in the area.
Following the growing popularity of the sky lanterns, the CAA has issued guidance on the release of sky lanterns in UK airspace because of the potential hazard for aviation. Organisers of lantern events that are ten miles or less from Exeter Airport are being asked to be aware of the potential risks to aircraft and urged to refer to the CAA’s online guidance. If necessary they are then asked to contact either the CAA or the airport with details of the event.
Jamie Christon. Exeter Airport’s Managing Director, said: “We don’t wish to spoil any celebrations but the lanterns can drift for many miles and some pilots have reported them at several thousand feet. Sky lanterns could cause navigational confusion and there is the very remote possibility of an aircraft engine ingestion of the metal frame.”
Exeter Airport’s air traffic control would appreciate being informed, via the airport’s website Contact Us page, of the any lantern releases ten miles or less from the airport.