Wednesday 27 September 2023
Select a region

Don't light up the sky without permission!

Don't light up the sky without permission!

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Don't light up the sky without permission!

Wednesday 29 October 2014

They look amazing and they're a huge hit on Bonfire Night - but you need permission to use Chinese Lanterns or you could cause some major problems for flights and farmers.

The small paper hot air balloons first took off in China but their popularity has spread all over the world and with it the nuisance they can cause - so Jersey’s Ports, the Environment department and local firefighters have put out some guidelines on when and where you can use them safely.

The full guidelines are online here but the basic rule is that anyone planning on including sky lanterns, fireworks, searchlights, laser shows or helium-filled balloons in their events this Halloween and bonfire night should get permission first from Jersey Airport, and in some cases the Channel Islands Director of Civil Aviation.

In the last few weeks there have been calls in the UK for the lanterns to be banned because of the problems they cause the environment and wildlife and depending on the way the wind is blowing can interfere with plane engines.  

The Airport’s Air Traffic Control manager Les Smallwood said: “We don't want to dampen anyone’s enjoyment of these activities, but we can’t trivialise the potential hazards that sky lanterns can cause to aircraft as well as to the local environment." 

They can also cause fires that are difficult to deal with as they head back down to earth still lit.

Jersey Fire and Rescue Service Station Commander Richard Liron said they can get tangled in rooftops, fences and trees as they struggle to gain height in some wind conditions. 

He said: “Fires at height are very difficult to deal with effectively in the first instance; because of this, such fires often rapidly develop into serious incidents."  

National Parks England is currently lobbying for their release to be classed as littering and banned particularly when what's left lying around afterwards can have fatal consequences for livestock if they end up eating them.

The Environment department’s Rural economy manager John Jackson said: “These lanterns look spectacular in the sky but perhaps people aren’t aware of the damage they can do to animals and the surrounding land when they come down in Jersey’s countryside or on our coastline. If you’re thinking of using sky lanterns, we’d really urge you to think about the potential risks – are cattle, sheep, goats or horses nearby? If so, please reconsider.”

Sign up to newsletter



Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

There are no comments for this article.

To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?