yobs who carry laser pens should be automatically arrested, says uk’s aviation boss
Andrew Haines, chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority, claimed that new legislation was needed to reduce laser attacks on aircraft.
He believes that laser abuse is a more difficult problem than unmanned aircraft almost miss, because the former is \"an attempt to deliberately cause harm \".
According to the existing Air Navigation Order No. 2009, it is illegal to act in a manner that \"may endanger the aircraft.
It is also illegal to shine to the plane, but the CAA boss has called for the law to go further and arrest anyone carrying a laser indicator.
He said, \"Why does Joe Bloggs walking down the street need a laser that can pop up a balloon at 50 miles, which can do permanent damage to the pilot?
\"Data show that a total of 1,439 aircraft in Britain were attacked by laser last year --
Equivalent to almost 4 per day.
The government maintains that it is \"seeking change\" to control the sale and use of laser pens as soon as possible.
Heathrow is the most common location, with 121 accidents, 94 at Birmingham Airport and 93 at Manchester Airport.
September was the worst month of the attacks, with 91 people, fewer than the August 8 attacks of eight.
Mr. Haines described Gao
Laser as a \"scientific device\", and insist that individuals have laser in public \"there is no good reason \".
He said there were cases of laser attacks that caused permanent damage to the pilot\'s vision, although they did not shoot down the plane and it would be \"stupid\" to rule it out as a possibility in the future \".
Brian Strutton, secretary general of Balpa, said: \"People need to understand that they are not toys and that at the critical stage of the flight, pointing them to the plane will dazzle the pilots and distract them, endangering passengers, crew and personnel on the ground.
On July, Martin Giles and his neighbor, okawyn Pascal, shot a laser pen into the cockpit of a police helicopter while searching for a missing person.
On February, a Virgin Atlantic flight was forced to return to Heathrow.
The pilot reported discomfort shortly after the laser hit the planeoff.
Nine days later, a British Airways flight from Amsterdam was affected as it headed towards the west London hub.
A government spokesman said, \"Security is our top priority and anyone convicted can be fined up to £ 2,500.
\"We take this issue very seriously and continue to work with other government departments, CAA and industry to determine how best to control the sale, use and possession of laser pens.
\"We hope to make changes as soon as possible.