Isle of Man Government
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Isle of Man Government Office of Fair Trading

Chinese or Sky Lanterns - Further Information

Following the warning given by the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading in conjunction with the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service and the Isle of Man Coastguard Service in relation to the dangers of Chinese or Sky Lanterns - Chief Surveyor and Director of Civil Aviation of the Isle of Man Civil Aviation Authority Hartley Elder has asked us to clarify the situation in relation to the Authority and the responsibility of those setting of the lanterns.

Hartley Elder advises “Sky lanterns or Chinese Lanterns can become a hazard to aircraft; when released the lanterns flight path and height is very difficult to predict. If a pilot encounters a lantern, they may have to make unplanned manoeuvres or if they enter an aircraft engine, they can cause damage. This would be considered as hazardous to air navigation and would be breaking Isle of Man law. Anyone planning to release a sky/Chinese Lantern within 10 miles of the airport at Ronaldsway or planning an event at which 10 or more lanterns are going to be released anywhere on the island must inform the Air Traffic Unit at the airport by completing the Form 65 which is available at and forward it to the fax/email detailed on the form.

Guidance on releasing sky lanterns and other activity which could be seen as hazardous to air navigation can be found in a UK CAA publication, CAP 736 which is available at”

For further guidance please contact Hartley Elder at the Isle of Man Civil Aviation Administration on 01624 682358 or

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