Officials say the annual kite-flying season poses hazards to low-flying aircraft near Phnom Penh International Airport
Photo by: Tracey Shelton
A father and son fly a kite in Hun Sen Park, Phnom Penh.
THE skies over Dangkor district will be free of kites following an announcement by aviation authorities Thursday that kite-flying posed a risk to airplane safety and would henceforth be banned in the area. The height of new buildings will also be restricted to nine metres.
November marks the beginning of the traditional Khmer kite-flying season, which will continue while the windy season lasts through the month of December.
Kroch Phan, governor of Dangkao district, said Thursday that authorities would confiscate any kites seen in the no-fly zone.
"We have sent letters to 18 communes in the district announcing our plans to ban people flying kites," he said.
"We are also banning fireworks and kite sellers from operating in this district, and if we see anyone flying a kite, we will confiscate the kite and keep it in our office."
Area police said they will assist aviation authorities in their quest to clear the skies.
"This is a good decision by the authorities to ban kites because they pose a threat to airplanes, and we will help them by checking around every day and immediately stopping anyone that goes against their order," said Born Sam Auth, police chief of Dangkor district.
"Most of the kite flyers are aged between 10 and 14 years old, and if we cannot educate them, then we will have to educate their parents."
Sim Sarak, co-author of a book about Khmer kites, said the kite flying season is traditionally held in conjunction with the harvest.
"During the harvest season, Khmers perform the ceremony of kite-flying to express their gratitude to their ancestor spirits for ensuring sufficient rains for farmers and a prosperity for all in general," he said.