Kite Fliers Told to Reel ‘em In

Civil aviation officials have asked that kites not be flown near Pochentong Airport because they pose a safety hazard for planes landing and taking off.

Sok Sambaur, deputy director general of airports, said Wednes­day that the approach paths to Pochentong needed to be kept clear of kites.

“The kites could easily cause damage to the planes and they would have to shut down their engines,” Sok Sambaur said.

The kite request was made after the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation received complaints from airlines. A spot on state-run TVK Wednesday warned kite flyers to stay away from the airport.

Sok Sambaur said President Airlines complained that the kites were being flown too high and pilots were afraid they would get caught in their engines. Officials from President Airlines, a small relatively new local airline, could not be reached for comment.

Sok Vuthy, a customer service officer with Dragon Air, said kites were being flown around the airport Thursday morning, posing a safety hazard for pilots. The children were asked to stop flying their kites, he said.

Malaysia Airlines has not had any specific problems with kites around the airport, said Chen Sarom, ticketing and reservation officer. But he said the kites can pose a problem while planes are landing or taking off.

Flying kites has become a popular pastime for children, but kite flyers have been facing more restrictions to prevent them from enjoying their hobby.

Phnom Penh First Deputy Governor Chea Sophara said Thursday that some kite flyers were damaging grass and endangering traffic and authorities had been told to monitor them.

(Additional reporting by Kevin Doyle)


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