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Pilots welcome new Bill addressing dangerous laser attacks on aircraft

Tougher new laws are to be introduced to target those who use laser pens to attack transport operators, a move which has been welcomed by the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA).

The pilots’ association has long been campaigning for tougher laws to address the problem, which it says has the potential to cause a fatal accident.

The new Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill will make it easier to prosecute offenders, removing the need to prove intention to cause harm.

The Bill has also removed the cap on fine, which will now be unlimited.

Currently, offenders can only be prosecuted if it can be proven they intended to endanger an aircraft – something very difficult to do – and the fine is capped at £2,500.

Police will also be given additional powers to catch those responsible.

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:

“We’re very pleased to see the Government has listened to our concerns and is now looking to introduce these tougher laws.

“BALPA, as well as others in the transport sector, has been campaigning for many years to get this legislation in place.

“Shining a laser at an aircraft is extremely dangerous and has the potential to cause a crash that could be fatal to not only those on board, but people on the ground too.

“We will now work with the Department for Transport to ensure the legislation is effective and is implemented quickly.”