A popular hot air balloon festival in the Philippines is set to be moved from its usual location due to safety concerns.
The Hot Air International Balloon festival, which takes place in Clark Freeport every year, will no longer be given the go ahead due to its proximity to Clark’s International airport. There is a concern that the hot air balloons, which can fly as high as 4,000 feet, may inconvenience the airlines that have begun to use the airport. Instead, the extremely popular hot air balloon festival will be held at Lubao, which is 33 kilometres away from the festival’s usual site.
As well as being moved to a new site, the festival will now be staged between the 10th and the 13th of April, instead of taking up its usual February slot. It is hoped that this move will see an increase in visitors because it coincides with Holy Week, when many tourists and pilgrims flock to the area.
Speaking about the festival, Noel Castro Jr., Chairman of the recently created Pilipinas International Balloon Festival Inc., said:
“The annual festival has been moved to its new location in view of the air traffic situation [and] aviation-related activities at the Clark International Airport where 10 international and domestic airlines now operate.”
Mr Castro also told the press that the newly formed company will take over the running of the popular hot air balloon event for this year, as well as for the future.