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Do not set off fireworks near airports

Many people’s New Year's celebrations include fireworks. The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom would like to remind you that firing fireworks in the vicinity of airports and airfields should be avoided. Some of the fireworks can rise very high and get too close, hindering the safety of a landing or take-off flight. Fireworks can momentarily blind the pilot and disrupt concentration.

In the vicinity of airports and airfields, you should carefully consider whether the use of fireworks is safe. According to the Aviation Act, activities that cause danger to air traffic or disrupt the flow of air traffic are prohibited.

"The task of the flight crew is to ensure the safety of the flight at all times. The pilot can be momentarily blinded or startled by the fireworks, which makes it difficult for the pilot to concentrate. When flying low, it is necessary for the pilot to maintain night vision. In the worst case, for example, a critical rescue operation may be interrupted and help may be delayed”, says Senior Inspector Veli-Matti Sääskilahti.

Fireworks are a risk during take-off and landing

Fireworks may not be set off at the airports or airfields themselves, and the use of fireworks in their vicinity should be avoided, especially in areas parallel to the runways. The encounter between a firework and an aircraft can be a risk during take-off and landing.

Restrictions and prohibitions related to the firing of fireworks in the vicinity of airports and airfields can be viewed, for example, using the Traficom Airspace application (External link) by selecting the UAS airspace zones from the menu: 

  • In UAS airspace zone A, the use of fireworks is prohibited.
  • In the UAS airspace zone B, the use of fireworks should be avoided, especially in areas parallel to the runways.
  • In the UAS airspace zone, the use of fireworks is prohibited due to the protection of heliports. 

Every year, Traficom receives a few safety deviation notifications about the encounter between an aircraft and a firework.

It is also good to remember, if you are travelling to celebrate the New Year by flying, that you cannot take fireworks or sparklers on the plane at all, not even in the cargo hold.

Additional information

Senior Inspector Veli-Matti Sääskilahti, veli-matti.saaskilahti@traficom.fi , tel. +358 (0)29 534 6064