Laser pen attacks 'treble'

The number of laser pen attacks on pilots coming in to land at Birmingham Airport has almost trebled in 12 months, the Civil Aviation Authority said.

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Pilot group calling for jail terms following rise in laser pen misuse

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 one of UK's laser attack 'hotspots'

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

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Shining a laser at a plane is a 'serious safety risk'

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:

During critical phases of flight, such as take-off and landing, pilots need to employ maximum concentration.

Being dazzled and temporarily blinded by an intense light could potentially lead to flight crew losing control of the aircraft.

Pointing a laser at an aircraft is now a specific criminal offence and the police regularly catch the perpetrators.

We strongly urge anyone who observes a laser being used at night in the vicinity of an airport to contact the police immediately.

Number of laser pen attacks on pilots 'almost treble'

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.

General view of a plane at Birmingham Airport Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

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.

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