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Reports of laser attacks on planes on the increase

Lasers can temporarily blind pilots

A Yorkshire MP says more legislation is needed to stop laser pen attacks on airline pilots.

Greg Mullholland, who represents Leeds North West, says it is a particular problem at Leeds Bradford airport,where half of pilots over the last 12 months have reported laser pen attacks.

Shining a laser at a plane became a criminal offence in 2010. The Civil Aviation Authority says pilots can be temporarily blinded by the beam and the pointers pose a serious safety risk especially during take-off or landing.

Mr Mulholland raised the issue in Parliament, asking Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin what could be done to stop the 'dangerous practice", suggesting licensing or even classification of the pens as offensive weapons.

Mr McLoughlin replied that there were a number of measures being considered across Government departments and it was something he took very seriously, particularly in the light of certain recent events.