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Saint Lucia’s Civil Aviation Ministry Warns Of Fireworks Threat To Aircraft Safety

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Saint Lucia’s Civil Aviation Ministry has warned of the ‘significant threat’ fireworks pose to aircraft safety.

The Ministry recalled that on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, the Air Traffic Control Tower at George F.L. Charles Airport observed fireworks in the general area of Trouya, Gros Islet.

According to a Ministry release, the fireworks display occurred approximately 2.6 miles north-northeast of the airport.

The airport tower observed it shortly after a flight departed for Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados at 8:05 pm.

The Civil Aviation Ministry release observed that using fireworks, helium-filled toy balloons, drones, and sky lanterns seriously threatens aviation safety.

“Unexpected fireworks could divert pilots’ attention and result in potential damage during flight operations,” it noted.

The release also explained that helium-filled toy balloons and sky lanterns could cause engine damage through ingestion.

In addition, it stated that sky lanterns could introduce Foreign Object Debris (FOD) on airport runways, posing a risk of damage to aircraft.

“The proximity of such activities to aerodromes, especially during critical flight phases like takeoff and landing, heightens the risk to aircraft operations,” the Ministry said.

It observed that fireworks displays in Saint Lucia range from small-scale to major events.

In this regard, the Ministry explained that solid objects that become airborne, especially at large-scale displays, pose a tangible risk to aircraft due to the potential for collision or flight path interference.

The Ministry underscored the importance of civil aviation safety, although the overall risk is deemed small.

It advised that individuals need the Ministry’s permission to launch fireworks, drones, helium-filled toy balloons, and sky lanterns.

The Ministry added that coordination with the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority Airports Department and the Air Traffic Control Tower was mandatory.

The Ministry release said final approval would depend on the prevailing air traffic situation.

It added that contacting the Saint Lucia Fire Service in advance was essential.

 

 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. This PSA lacks clear guidance and fails to advise citizens of the guiding legislation governing such activities.

    It’s as if the Ministry is appealing to citizens good sense and judgement.

  2. One time I saw a crowd launching toy balloons and sky lanterns right on vigie beach. Reported to the police. They never showed up.

  3. Someone need to take charge. This is a life threatening issue. Erect warning signs on prohibited perimeter with fines and imprisonments included.

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