Civil Aviation Authority concerned over laser aircraft incidents
Friday 2 Dec 2016 6:54 a.m.
Wellington Airport (Simon Wong/Newshub.)
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is concerned at the growing number of people caught shining lasers at aircrafts, and police say people caught will be held accountable.
It follows the sentencing of Tane Hemopo who was given 10 weeks in prison for beaming a laser at a plane in Christchurch.
The number of laser reports has gone up from 104 in 2015 to 127 in 2016.
"It is a worldwide issue - it is concerning. I think all jurisdictions are looking at ways we can address this issue and with the latest event like this it can cause distraction to the pilot, which is not a good thing," says CAA's Mark Hughes.
"The whole situation of laser pointers targeting aircraft is concerning to us. The number of these events are going up, the power of the lasers themselves is going up - and of course that presents a safety risk to the public."
Constable Zeb Harland says people don't understand the risk.
"Education is a big part of it. A lot of people do seem to see it as something silly, and it's just really getting the message out there that this is really serious," he says.