Vadodara: The Chinese lanterns flown during Uttarayan caused some heavy-duty scare over and above the 10-odd incidents of fire in the city. Vadodara airport authorities had a tough time because of the flying lanterns this Uttarayan. This has forced the city police to think of banning flying lanterns for any coming festivals.
Sources said airport authorities had to direct at least two incoming flights to change their approach route on January 14 and 15 when they found some flying lanterns straying into the path of the air funnel. "However, there is no awareness still about sky lanterns and that they can come flying on to the approach path of the aircraft. These lanterns are more dangerous than the tukkals since they cannot be controlled once released in air," a senior airport official said.
Fortunately, the authorities could identify the Makarpura side free of flying lanterns on those nights and so the flight approach of two night flights was hurriedly changed to avoid the fire-holding balloons.
19/01/13 Ramaninder K Bhatia/Times of India