Auckland man arrested after laser pointed at Air New Zealand flight and police Eagle helicopter

The crew aboard the Eagle managed to locate the man's address.
The crew aboard the Eagle managed to locate the man's address. Photo credit: Getty Images/Flight Radar

Police have arrested and charged an Auckland man after two incidents overnight where a laser was pointed at aircraft.

The first incident occurred at around 2.54am where an Air New Zealand flight had a laser pointed at the cockpit.

Data from shows NZ1108 from Sydney flying into Auckland airspace at the same time as the reported incident, at a height of around 9000ft.

Around an hour later, the police Eagle helicopter also had a laser pointed at it for a number of minutes.

Following further enquiries, the Eagle flight crew were able to locate the offender’s location at a Blockhouse Bay address, where Police arrested and charged a 28-year-old man with two counts of endangering transport.

"Pointing lasers at helicopters, or any other aircraft, is not a laughing matter. It's an incredibly dangerous act that puts the crew and any passengers at risk of serious harm," a police spokesperson said in a statement.

Air New Zealand confirmed NZ1108 had been the target of the laser attack.

“The pilot of the B787-9 aircraft followed the standard process and alerted Air Traffic Control.

“The incident was reported to Police, and a person has since been arrested and charged with Endangering Transport,” Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan said.

“Safety is paramount for Air New Zealand and we want to thank Police for their swift response and action, and holding the person responsible to account.

“Laser strikes are potentially dangerous and can put our pilots, passengers and crew at risk. We’re incredibly grateful for the work the Police have done and continue to do when these incidents occur,” Morgan said.

Endangering Transport is an offence that has a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.