Editor in chief:

Airplanes. Increasing aiming of laser pointers at aircraft

Cape Town, South Africa - This year the Civil Aviation Authority of South Africa has received 105 reports

Since the beginning of the year South African Civil Aviation Authority has received 105 reports of laser aimings against aircraft, most of which occurred in Durban and Cape Town and at the week-end in Johannesburg. "The flashing lasers against aircraft usually happens during critical phases of flight, such as take-off and landing", said the spokesman of authority, Kabelo Ledwaba. Pilots have confirmed that this is a growing and widely underestimated problem. Who flies at night has in fact stated that the incidence of aimings is up to 70-80%. When the beam strikes the cockpit a green light is irradiated and it's not possible to see the instruments, since often one of the main targets is precisely the flight deck. It's complex, according to the statements of the spokesman, identify the perpetrators of the crimes, often hidden outside the airport perimeter and with laser pointing up to 3 km away from the aircraft. It does not seem to deter attackers the fine stimated of 2,855 euros, or the 10 years in prison accorded by the law. The phenomenon began to occur about ten years ago and has received swinging attention from the public, probably because it has never been clear to what extent could these occurrences affect flight safety. The behaviour that a driver must keep in the presence of similar problems is to alert the police in the area, although often there is no evidence because of the difficulty to identify the culprits: often they are teenagers, sometimes adults, but there are no clues to draw a general profile of the typical criminal. Although there have never been recorded serious accidents related to this, the laser danger remains unquestionable: those of the upper classes, especially if they use green light, can cause eye damage or a dangerous glare for those who are holding special activities. The farther away from the laser source and the more increases the diameter of the light beam, which can then completely fog the view for a few seconds, with very serious consequences especially in delicate phases of flight and when there are passengers on board. Unfortunately, this is an uncontrollable phenomenon with disastrous potential that is not relegated only to South Africa but it is also spreading throughout the western world: US, Europe, and Italy itself are not immune, to the point that some countries in order to do something have banned the import and sale of those who are considered to be real weapons. Even if it is not difficult find lasers for all tastes and all pockets for sale on electronic channels. To learn more see AVIONEWS 1 and 2

AVIONEWS - 1175191
© World Aeronautical Press Agency Srl
Print this news