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Outcome in Corban Laser Strike Court Case Highlights Dangers

New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association

For Immediate Release

28 November 2012

Outcome in Corban Laser Strike Court Case Highlights Dangers

The outcome of a court case held today for a teenager who shone a laser at the police eagle helicopter in March 2011, highlights the dangers of shining lasers at aircraft. “We hope that today’s case acts as a deterrent to make people think twice before they shine a laser at an aircraft” NZALPA President Glen Kenny says.

NZALPA is committed to getting the message out there that laser strikes are a distraction and at worst they can cause temporary blindness, or even permanent eye damage to pilots – pointing them at aircraft is extremely dangerous.

“This is the second court case this month for laser attacks on aircraft, and three previous convictions this year reinforces the message; pointing lasers at aircraft is not acceptable” says Mr Kenny.

NZALPA is looking forward to the outcomes of the Ministry of Health’s consultation document addressing the importation of handheld lasers and the selection of Dr Cam Calder’s member’s bill addressing possession. We applaud the Government for taking these actions.

“Removing access to Class 3 lasers by way of regulation is a first step to addressing the laser issue and we believe a combination of these two legislative actions provides a solution to the laser strike threat” says Mr Kenny.

Australia introduced similar changes in 2008 that banned the importation of lasers that emit a beam stronger 1mW. NZALPA is committed to working with the aviation industry, Police, the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority to develop solutions to mitigate this threat.

ENDS

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