General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has warned citizens of the UAE on the dangers of releasing tethered helium balloons and advertising blimps from rooftops, highlighting a recent increase in such activity during national celebrations and special occasions.

GCAA has made it clear that once balloons and blimps rise over rooftops with more than a few meters, they can have an impact on the routes of low altitude aircrafts such as vertical and smaller aircrafts, and airplanes during takeoff and landing. It is particularly dangerous during night-time flights e. 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.

GCAA encourages members of the public to put safety first and co-operate on this issue by ensuring that balloons are not higher than the maximum permissible building height in the particular location and to refer to the local airport authorities prior to engaging in such activities.

H.E. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director Generalt GCAA commented on this, saying: “There has been a clear rise in the number of balloons and blimps in our skies, mostly used for personal celebrations, for celebrating events such as National Day of our beloved country or for advertising purposes. GCAA wants to remind everyone to take care when releasing these blimps as they can have an effect on air traffic movements in our sky. We advise citizens, residents, companies and organizations to please pay attention to this issue so that we can continue our celebrations with everyone in a safe and sound way.”