Balloons pose 'serious consequences' for aircraft, says GCAA

General Civil Aviation Authority says it saw a rise in number released during National Day
(Getty Images - photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Staff writer
Sun 08 Dec 2013 03:03 PM

Releasing balloons into the air during celebrations can have “serious consequences” for aircraft flying above, the aviation regulator warned after a surge in airborne hazards during recent National Day celebrations.

“The blimps and balloons can damage engines and fans, disturb the balance of the planes due to sudden avoidance maneuvers and this can have serious consequences,” the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said in a statement.

The GCAA warned that releasing airborne helium balloons can be particularly hazardous to low flying aircraft, or those operating at night.

The warning comes after the authority observed a recent surge in the amount of balloons released during National Day.

“There has been a clear rise in the number of balloons and blimps in our skies, mostly used for personal celebrations, or for celebrating events such as the National Day of our beloved country or for advertising purposes,” said GCAA Director-General Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi.

“GCAA wants to remind everyone to take care when releasing these blimps as they can affect air traffic in our sky. We advise citizens, residents, companies and organisations to please pay attention to this issue so that we can continue our celebrations with everyone safe and sound.”

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