Shining lasers at aircrafts punishable by UK law
CAA gets tough on security in face of increased attacks
Airport news for Heathrow,Flights,Travel on 18/01/2010.
A new law was introduced in the UK to prevent laser from being shone at flying aircrafts.
The law, which punishes anyone caught shining a laser or light at a plane, was implemented after an escalating number of incidents at several UK airports. There were about 29 incidents reported at Heathrow Airport in 2009, much higher compared to just eight incidents the year before. While in Glasgow Airport, the number of incidents increased from six in 2008 to about 42 in 2009.
Incidents of this category have significantly increased 25 folds over the previous two years, totalling to 737 attacks on commercial airlines, police helicopters and air ambulances all over the UK in 2009.
In the past, people caught shining a laser at an aircraft were only being charged with ‘recklessly endangering an aircraft’. Offenders this time may be charged with ‘shining a light at an aircraft in flight so as to dazzle the pilot’, which will likely increase the chances for conviction.
The head of flight operations at the Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Bob Jones, said that the new regulation would greatly help law enforcers in tackling the problem. The rule would also make future offenders, who think shining a laser at an aircraft as a kind of joke, to think twice before committing the crime.
He added that the chances of getting caught of doing the act are increasing rapidly. Jones advised the public to quickly contact the police in case they had seen somebody doing the criminal act.