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Aviation: Lasers

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many reported instances there were of aircraft safety being impaired by misuse of laser pointers in each of the last three years. (286778)

The information requested is provided in the following table:

Number of laser incidents reported

2006

8

2007

30

2008

206

The chart is from the Safety Data Department in the Civil Aviation Authority. It includes incidents reported in the UK and incidents overseas involving UK registered aircraft.

Under Article 142 of the Air Navigation Order (ANO) pilots experiencing lasers directed at them are asked to report the event using the Mandatory Occurrence Reporting Scheme. The CAA follows up each report and, where appropriate, prosecutes the offender.

The Department for Transport is working on an amendment to Article 135 of the ANO to make it a specific offence to direct or shine light intentionally at an aircraft. The amendment will be published in the consolidated version of the ANO which will come into force in the autumn.