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Agricultural burning threatens flight safety in Hanoi

By Ngoc Thanh   November 2, 2022 | 11:31 pm PT
With farmers continuing to burn stubble and straw on fields around Hanoi's Noi Bai airport, planes are forced to land and take off amid smoke.
Agricultural burning threatens flight safety in Hanoi

Farmers burn rice stubble in a field in Soc Son District near Noi Bai International Airport.

October is the rice harvest season, and soon afterward farmers clear up their fields to get them ready for the next crop. Burning the stubble remains the most common way of doing this.

Agricultural burning threatens flight safety in Hanoi

A farmer sets fire to a pile of straw and stubble in a field in Quang Tien Commune, sending smoke all over the place.

"The practice of field burning does not just cause air pollution but also affects pilots' vision during takeoff and landing, threatening safety," a Noi Bai airport official, who wanted to be unnamed, said.

Agricultural burning threatens flight safety in Hanoi

Farmer Nguyen Thi Truong, 60, of Hien Ninh Commune said: "I burn all the grass and use the ash to fertilize the soil. The straw will be composted to use for the rice later."

Agricultural burning threatens flight safety in Hanoi

Another farmer gathers grass and straw for burning in Thanh Xuan Commune.

Agricultural burning threatens flight safety in Hanoi

Smoke billows out of a field one km away from Noi Bai airport.

Agricultural burning threatens flight safety in Hanoi

A plane is about to land amid smoke from a nearby field.

The airport had last year coordinated with local authorities in Soc Son District to urge farmers not to burn straw near the airport, and fewer farmers are doing it this year as a result.

If pilots or air traffic control personnel detect farmers about to light a fire, they inform the local police.

Agricultural burning threatens flight safety in Hanoi

Smoke and fire in fields next to the Noi Bai – Lao Cai Expressway that links Hanoi with Sa Pa tourist town as seen through a plane window on Oct. 28.

A government decree issued in July this year imposes fines of VND2.5-3 million ($100-120) for burning crop residues and by-products in fields next to residential areas, airports and major roads.

Agricultural burning threatens flight safety in Hanoi

Smoke covers Provincial Road 35 in Soc Son District.

Agricultural burning threatens flight safety in Hanoi

A girl covers her nose while riding past a burning field on Provincial Road 35.

Agricultural burning threatens flight safety in Hanoi

Smoke drifts along National Highway No.2 on Oct. 31.

 
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