Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Disappointing’ Sentence For Endangering An Aircraft

Disappointing’ Sentence For Endangering An Aircraft With A Laser Highlights Need For Stronger Laws

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association (NZALPA) says the sentencing of the latest offender to be found guilty of endangering an aircraft is `disappointing’ and that the law needs to be toughened.

NZALPA calls on the Government to make the pointing of lasers at an aircraft a specific offence and for the courts to make clear this is a very serious and dangerous matter and not a prank

Commenting on the sentencing at Auckland’s District Court of Mr Christian Larsen, who today was sentenced to 100 hours Community Service and attending an alcohol related rehabilitation course, having pleaded guilty to a charge of Endangering Transport, for having pointed a laser at a helicopter in Auckland earlier this year, Wayne Renwick, President of NZALPA says:

`We call on the Government to act before we have a serious incident, and make the pointing of lasers at an aircraft a specific offence. The lives of pilots, passengers and the general public alike, are being put at risk every week. Specific legislation is needed and sentences handed down to reflect this.

‘Although pleased by the conviction of Larsen – we are very disappointed indeed at the sentence handed down in this case. The number of incidents of laser beams being shone into aircraft cockpits and the potential for catastrophe as a result of the blinding of pilots, has increased dramatically in recent years. Sentences handed down to those found guilty of related offences should receive the maximum custodial and financial penalties possible under the law, to send the message that this is a very serious and dangerous offence and not merely a prank.’

The Crown Solicitor suggested a starting point of two years imprisonment to the Judge, but Defence Counsel submissions were that this was his first offence and that this, combined with his issues with addiction and genuine remorse for his actions, should be taken into account.

NZALPA provided key information to the police and formed part of the Crown’s case.

Laser beams can reach up to 37,000 feet (11,277 metres) but most are targeted at the cockpits of aircraft taking off or landing at New Zealand’s airports. Last year there were some 112 reported laser attacks on aircraft and helicopters in New Zealand – and those are just those that are reported. Foreign registered aircraft report attacks to their own airworthiness authorities and these may not be included in these figures.

Mr Renwick adds: `Although legislation has recently been passed by Parliament in New Zealand controlling the importation and sale of high powered lasers, the targeting of aircraft with lasers is not a specific offence, as it is in many countries, as even small handheld ‘pointers’ can cause a serious distraction for pilots at a safety critical phase of flight such as take-off and landing.’


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Syriza Win Greek Election: The Rumblings Of The Left

Binoy Kampmark: The left – and by this, the genuine, progressive, unmanagerial left – is getting noisy. The Greek elections are upon us, with the similar challenges being played out from 2012. There are fears of Grexit – a heavy breathing departure from the eurozone that will do everything to rattle the central currency mechanism that has been taking a battering...

Much of this has been triggered by the moral outrage and political response of the left grouping centred on Syriza of Greece. The movement has been said to have similarities to a new constellation of power in Spain, led by Podemos. Syriza, led by Alexis Tsipras, has promised to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s 240 billion euro international bailout arrangements. Both parties point out to the distance between elector and the elected, a creeping death of democratic accountability in favour of market propriety. More>>

 

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news