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A group representing pilots has today said that people who shine laser pens at aircraft, should be jailed automatically.
It comes after it emerged that more and more planes landing at Birmingham Airport are being targetted by people on the ground.
The Civil Aviation Authority says the number has trebled to almost 150 a year. They say it can put the lives of passengers and crew at risk.
Birmingham has been listed as one of the UK's 'hotspots' for laser pen attacks on planes which are coming in to land.
The Civil Aviation Authority said anyone who is caught shining a laser into an aircraft can now be charged with the specific offence of targeting an aircraft in flight with a laser or light.
- Green lasers pose a particular danger to pilots, because the human eye is much more sensitive to green light
- They can cause a distraction even if they are shone over two miles away
A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority said that shining a laser at an aircraft is a "serious risk to the safety of passengers and crew", it comes as the number of such attacks has almost trebled in the last 12 months. The CAA said:
The number of laser pen attacks on pilots coming in to land at Birmingham Airport has almost trebled in the past 12 months, the Civil Aviation Authority said.
Fifty such attacks were recorded in 2010, but last year, that number rose to 143.
The beams can dazzle pilots or light up the whole cockpit, leaving flight crews struggling to land aircraft, the CAA said.