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Pilots welcome more good news on lasers from Government

Tougher restrictions on the importation of high-powered laser pointers has been welcomed by the UK pilots’ association.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced it will clamp down on unsafe lasers following a Call for Evidence into the issues they cause.

Lasers being shone at aircraft has been a continuing issue for many years, and the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), as well as others in the transport sector, has long been campaigning for stronger control over sales, as well as higher penalties for offenders.

The news comes just a few weeks after an announcement from the Department for Transport that laws would be toughened for offenders, including prison sentences and a potentially unlimited fine.

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:

“This is more welcome news from the Government on lasers and shows that they are taking this important issue seriously.

“The Department for Transport recently announced the introduction of new tougher laws for those who shine lasers at aircraft. Now the tougher restrictions on importation should hopefully stop high-powered lasers reaching the hands of those with ill-intentions in the first 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.”

Notes: In 2016 laser attacks on planes totalled 1,258. 2017 figures are yet to be announced.