Leeds Bradford Airport issues warning about dangers of sky lanterns and fireworks

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Leeds Bradford Airport has reminded people about the dangers of setting off sky lanterns ahead of Bonfire Night.

Sky lanterns, as well as fireworks and lasers, can distract and endanger pilots flying aircrafts.

In a worst case scenario, it could cause a plane to crash.

The Yeadon-based airport said: "Important reminder. With the nights closing in, it's tempting to light up the skies with sky lanterns, fireworks and lasers, however these cause significant threats to aircraft."

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The Civil Aviation Authority usually offers guidance for anyone planning a major firework, laser show or sky lantern release if they are told in advance.

This also means they can alert pilots and air traffic control.

However, this year major events are cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) has expressed concerns about people hosting events on their own private property due to this.

Fire lanterns can distract aircrafts and also cause damage to livestock.Fire lanterns can distract aircrafts and also cause damage to livestock.
Fire lanterns can distract aircrafts and also cause damage to livestock.

The service has strongly urged people against it.

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A spokesman said: "Due to coronavirus, Bonfire Night will be celebrated differently with many of the usual organised events not going ahead. WYFRS is not trying to ruin anyone’s fun but please do not host an event, abide by local restrictions and practice social distancing this Bonfire season.

"We want everyone to enjoy the bonfire season responsibly and encourage families NOT to host their own bonfires or events."

Sky lanterns in particular do not only cause a risk to pilots but also local wildlife.

Rural and welfare organisations have been calling on councils to ban the paper lanterns for a number of years.

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The lanterns are powered by a naked flame and drop indiscriminately into fields, hedges and buildings.

There have been reports of wildlife and livestock being injured and killed by them and crops being damaged.

In April, a horse sanctuary in Leeds called for sky lanterns to be banned after discovering one in their field.

Staff at Hope Pastures, in Meanwood, said they were left very upset after finding the sky lantern.

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They said the animals and stables were 'luckily ok' despite the discovery.

In a tweet, staff said: "Very upsetting tweet.

"We found a sky lantern in one of our fields.

"Luckily our animals and stables are ok.

"These need banning, who on earth would send fire into the sky not knowing where it would land."

At the time, Leader of Leeds City Council Judith Blake also warned against their use when people began using them to pay tribute to key workers.

Councillor Blake said the lanterns increase the risk of wildfires and put extra strain on the emergency services, already under 'unprecedented pressure' due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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"We’re all extremely proud and thankful for the amazing work being done by our key workers.

"However, I'd urge residents to continue showing their support in ways that are safe and not to light sky lanterns.

“Sky lanterns (which some residents may know as ‘Chinese lanterns’) are highly flammable and increase the risk of wildfires.

"Whilst our emergency services are under unprecedented pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s vitally important that we all do everything possible to help them focus on their response to this virus and not on managing unnecessary fires.

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“I'd once again like to thank everyone who continues to work so hard to keep our city running, particularly frontline workers and volunteers.”

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