35 New Year Eve flights axed
Chiang Mai International Airport will cancel 35 flights and reschedule 31 more on New Year's Eve to avoid possible hazards posed by floating sky lanterns during the countdown to 2018, Group Captain Manathanik Rakngam, who manages the airport, said Friday.
The announcement comes despite an expected surge in passenger numbers over the festive weekend.
The airport, which has seen a rising number of daily fliers in December, handled over 36,000 on Tuesday, the highest number since it opened, Gp Cpt Manathanik said.
The total number for 2017 is now expected to surpass 10 million, he added.
The airport had added more security guards and is working closely with the police and military to ramp up security patrols as passenger safety is of paramount importance, he said.
CCTV surveillance is also being heightened with staff instructed to report and act on any suspicious behaviour, the airport manager said.
Inspections of so-called foreign object debris within the airport's flying zone are also being stepped up from four rounds per day to 10 rounds.
The airport cancelled at least 78 flights on Nov 3-4 when sky lanterns were expected during the traditional Yi Peng festival.