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Flying objects to be controlled

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Khom Loy sky lanterns and Bang Fai rockets are facing new and tougher restrictions in an effort to make the skies safer for air travel.

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From Nov 5 to 9 last year, pilots were warned in advance of areas in the North where 12,704 sky lanterns were launched, but many others were released without warning. CHANAT KATANYU

Sky lanterns, rockets face new controls

Amornrat Mahitthirook

The launching of a Bang Fai rocket. Not a welcome sight for an airplane pilot. JETJARAS NA RANONG.

Spurred by an increasing threat to aviation safety, 10 government agencies have joined forces to halt the irresponsible launching of traditional khom loy sky lanterns and bang fai rockets.

Agreement was reached at a meeting in Bangkok on Thursday with the signing of a memorandum of understanding.

It followed reports of aircraft being placed in peril by floating lanterns over the New Year festival, with debris being sucked into a jet engine, and of landing lanterns starting fires.

Representatives of the Transport Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Defence Ministry, the Tourism and Sports Ministry, the Education Ministry, the Culture Ministry, the Royal Thai Police Office, the Public Relations Department, the National Office of Buddhism and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration signed the memorandum at the Transport Ministry on Thursday.,

They agreed to cooperate to control the launching of sky lanterns and bang fai rockets, and that their unrestricted use poses an increasing threat to aircraft safety and to property in general.

"This is a big issue because it affects aviation safety," Transport Minister Prajin Juntong said.

He said that sky lanterns were popular, particularly in the North, during the Loy Krathong festival in November.

From Nov 5 to 9 last year, pilots were warned in advance of areas where 12,704 sky lanterns were launched, but many others were released without warning.

As a result, many airlines suspended night flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai during that period, ACM Prajin said.

The rockets were popular in the Northeast and traditionally launched during festivals in May and June, but they were now being fired off throughout the year for purposes of gambling, the minister said.

A home-made rocket is launched to celebrate the annual Bang Fai Festival in Muang district, Yasothon. Locals believe the rocket launch will ensure plentiful rainfall for their crops, but gambling has become a big part of the event. THANARAK KHOONTON

Last year the launches of 47,923 rockets were reported in advance, and pilots of 107 flights saw them. Some rockets breached the altitude limit, and many others were launched without prior notice from unidentified locations.

"Pilots saw many rockets at 20,000 feet, which is the altitude for general passenger aircraft," ACM Prajin said.

These rockets jeopardised aviation safety. Some airlines rerouted their flights to avoid the Northeast, the transport minister said.

"If the problem is not tackled seriously, airlines will lose confidence in aviation safety in Thailand and that will affect the national economy, which would lose considerable income from tourism and other activities," ACM Prajin said.

Woradet Harnprasert, deputy permanent secretary for transport, said the organisations that signed the collaboration each had their own tasks. For example, the Transport Ministry will set aviation safety measures. The Defence Ministry will deploy personnel and equipment to respond to incidents resulting from sky lanterns and rockets.

The Interior Ministry will amend laws about firearms, explosives and fireworks to better control such products. The Tourism and Sports Ministry will inform tour operators of the dangers. The Education Ministry will send the same information to students, and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will issue regulations about the use of sky lanterns.

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Vocabulary:

agency (noun): a government department that provides a particular service - หน่วยงานราชการ

aircraft (noun): an airplane or helicopter or other vehicle that travels through the air from place to place - เครื่องบิน

altitude : height above sea level - ความสูงเหนือระดับน้ำทะเล

amend : to make changes to a document, law, agreement, etc. especially in order to improve it - การแก้ไขกฎหมาย

annual : happening every year - ทุกๆปีด, ประจำปี

aviation : the flying of aircraft - การบิน

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) : the local government of Bangkok - กรุงเทพมหานคร

breach (verb): to fail to follow a law, rule or agreement - ละเมิดกฎข้อบังคับ, ละเมิดสัญญา

collaboration : working together with someone else - การร่วมมือ

confidence : the quality of being certain - ความมั่นใจ

considerable (adj): large in size, amount, or degree - ค่อนข้างมาก, ค่อนข้างใหญ่

cooperate : to work with other people to achieve a result that is good for everyone involved - ร่วมมือกัน

crop : a plant grown for food, usually on a farm - พืชผล

debris : broken pieces that are left when something large has been destroyed - เศษ ซากปรักหักพัง  ซากสิ่งของที่ถูกทำลาย

deploy : (of police, soldiers, government officials or equipment) to put in place ready for action - ส่ง ประจำการ.

deputy : a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

ensure : to make certain that something happens or is done - ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ

festival (noun): an event that is held to celebrate a particular thing or activity - เทศกาล

firearms : guns - อาวุธปืน

firework : an object that explodes when you light it and produces coloured lights and loud noise - ดอกไม้ไฟ, ดอกไม้เพลิง, พลุ

float : to cause to move slowly in the air or on water - ลอย

gambling : the activity of betting money, for example in a game or on a horse race - การพนัน

halt : to stop - หยุด

in advance : before the time that is expected; before something happens - ล่วงหน้า

in general : including the most important aspects of something; not exact or detailed; overall - โดยทั่วไป

incident : something that happens, usually something bad - เหตุการณ์

income : money that someone gets from working or from investing money - รายได้

irresponsible : done or said without thinking of the possible results of your actions or words - ขาดความรับผิดชอบ

issue : a problem that needs to be considered - ประเด็น

issue : to officially announce or give out - ออก, ออกประกาศ, ออกคำสั่ง

jeopardise : to risk damaging or destroying something important - เป็นอันตรายต่อ,เป็นภัยต่อ,ทำร่าย,ทำอันตราย

join forces : to work together to accomplish something - รวมกำลังกับ

lantern (noun): a light enclosed in a container which has a handle for holding it or hanging it up, or the container itself - โคมไฟ

launch : to send something out, such as a rocket into the air or into space - ปล่อย

launching (noun): sending something out, such as a rocket into the air or into space - การปล่อย

limit : the largest or smallest amount, or the highest or lowest level, of something that is allowed - ขอบเขต, เขต

locals : people who live in a particular place - ชาวบ้าน

location : where someone or something is - ที่ตั้ง,ทำเล

measure : an action taken to solve a particular problem - มาตรการ

memorandum : an informal legal agreement - ข้อตกลง

memorandum of understanding (MOU) : a document used to describe a form of a written agreement between two or more groups, countries, etc. The document is not as strong as a contract but outlines a commitment between the two to work together toward the same purpose or goals -

operator (noun): a person or company that runs a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ

particularly : especially, or more than usual - โดยเฉพาะ

peril : serious danger - การตกอยู่ในอันตราย, การเสี่ยงภัย

permanent secretary : a government official, not a political appointee, in charge of a ministry - ปลัดกระทรวง

personnel : the people who are employed in a company, organization or one of the armed forces - บุคลากร, เจ้าหน้าที่, พนักงาน

plentiful (adj): available or existing in large amounts or numbers - มากมาย, อุดมสมบูรณ์

popular (adj): a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ

pose a threat : to be a possible danger - กระทำการซึ่งอาจก่อให้เกิดอันตรายต่อ

prior notice : telling someone about something before it happens - การบอกล่วงหน้า, การเตือนล่วงหน้า

property : a building or buildings and the surrounding land - อสังหาริมทรัพย์

public relations : the business of giving the public information about a particular organisation or person in order to create a good impression - งานประชาสัมพันธ์

regulations : official rules that control the way that things are done - ระเบียบปฏิบัติ

release (verb): to let something move freely; to allow a substance to flow out from somewhere - ปล่อย

representative : someone who has been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them - ผู้แทน

reroute (verb): to change the route that a road, vehicle, plane, telephone call, etc. normally follows - ส่งไปโดยเส้นทางต่างๆ

rocket (noun): a vehicle shaped like a tube that travels very fast up into the air and space - จรวด, เครื่องยนต์จรวด, ขีปนาวุธหรือยานอวกาศที่ขับเคลื่อนด้วยจรวด, พลุ, พลุสัญญาณ, ดอกไม้ไฟ

spur : to cause something to happen - ก่อให้เกิด 

suck : to pull air, smoke or a liquid into something - ดูดเข้าไป

tackle : to make an organised and determined attempt to deal with a problem - จัดการกับปัญหา

task : something that you have to do - หน้าที่

threat : a danger - อันตราย

traditional (adj): of a custom, a way of life or a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time - เป็นประเพณี, ตามธรรมเนียม, ตามที่ปฏิบัติกันมา

transport : moving people or things from one place to another - การขนส่ง

unidentified : not known or not revealed - ไม่ระบุ

unrestricted (adj): not controlled or limited in any way - ไม่จำกัด

warn : to make someone aware of a possible problem or danger - เตือน

warning : an action or statement telling someone of a possible problem or danger - การเตือน

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