You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Police probe laser strikes on planes

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/09/2016

Police are warning the people who pointed lasers into the cockpits of flights approaching airports in Wellington and Auckland are putting lives at risk.

A domestic flight from Hamilton to Wellington Airport was targeted over Hutt Valley on Thursday night and several international flights approaching Auckland Airport were targeted early on Friday morning prompting police investigations.

"Anyone using a laser pointer on an aircraft is putting the lives of those on board in serious danger," said Senior Constable Shane Gealey from the police's air support unit.

He said lasers can cause eye damage, flash blindness and headaches.

The airline pilots' union wants the problem tackled.

"We need to deal with the issue and we need to deal with it strongly," said Tim Robinson, president of the Air Line Pilots' Association.

The pilots targeted in Wellington suffered headaches and their vision was temporarily affected but in all instances the planes landed safely.

Snt Const Gealey said they treat laser strike reports seriously and offenders could face charges such as endangering transport or criminal nuisance.

Police says the green laser pointed into the Wellington-bound flight came from Trentham while the Auckland laser was pointed from Weymouth.

The union representing flight attendants said laser strikes were irresponsible and had the potential to be deadly.

"These strikes put everyone at risk, including the pilots, flight attendants and the general public," said E tu's Kelvin Ellis.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon