As many parts of the world commemorate New Year's Eve with a lot of fireworks (which explode at the height of a take-off/landing). Are airplanes pilots required to deviate from their original route on this special day/night?

  • 3
    I'm not seeing a skeptical claim here.
    – Ryathal
    May 3, 2012 at 18:13
  • @Ryathal it's that NYE's fireworks interfere with airplane routes (which I doubt) May 3, 2012 at 18:24
  • 7
    but that doesn't seem to be a notable claim to me. He hasn't actually sited any sources saying that any airlines don't allow flights on new years eve
    – Ephraim
    May 3, 2012 at 18:29
  • This is what my question is asking about... I would like to know if there is a alternative plan for this specific day that pilots receive specific routes from the airline companies...
    – Diogo
    May 3, 2012 at 18:35
  • Anecdotally, my father flew into Heathrow on the evening of a 5th November sitting in a window seat. The numerous fireworks that were set off by private individuals on the ground were mostly small smarks just above the roof until the aeroplane got very close to the airport (and thus low).
    – Jan
    Jan 19, 2021 at 11:18

2 Answers 2


Firework displays can be a hazard to aircraft. Sufficiently large firework displays are notified to aircraft operators through NOTAMs. The Canadian NOTAM Manual contains a specific section on fireworks and pyrotechnics (Section 5.5.10). Some displays may result in the establishment of restricted airspace, which would compel aircraft to route around it. Aircraft may also choose to avoid areas in which firework displays are happening.

However as Ryathal says, fireworks are in general forbidden near airports, and airliners cruise too high to be affected by regular firework displays. The NOTAMs mentioned above are more likely to affect smaller unscheduled aircraft. There might also be occasional suspensions of operation like the Manchester one described by him.


A brochure from Manchester Airport announced windows to launch fireworks near Manchester airport in England. It’s not for New Year’s, but it states information that would be relevant for any time period:

Unfortunately, … a suspension of [airport] operations is difficult to arrange and not often possible. […] These [above-mentioned periods] are the only suspensions that will take place, so please plan your displays to fit these time periods.

Fireworks can distract pilots during critical landing and takeoff phase and their use around airports is strictly controlled.

Failure to notify a nearby airport about use of fireworks can result in up to 5 years in jail.


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