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Illegal laser use endangers pilots and travellers

Transport Safety Spokesperson

7 February 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Illegal laser use endangers pilots and travellers

The unlawful targeting of aircraft by reckless laser users is endangering the safety of both pilots and travellers, says Labour’s Transport Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.

“In the past year there have been 100 recorded incidents where lasers pointed at cockpits have impaired pilots’ vision,” Iain Lees-Galloway said.

“Calls today by the New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association for the Government to pass legislation to halt the misuse of Class 3 Lasers should not be shrugged off.

“The current penalty of 12 months imprisonment or a fine of up to $10,000 for directing a laser at an aircraft in flight is proving an inadequate deterrent.

“The Government should act quickly on the NZALPA’s recommendation. Action touted by National MP Cam Calder will not address the problem.

“Penalties are obviously not working; prevention is where legislation needs to be focused.

“Lasers pose a serious danger. Other countries are legislating to prevent it. The Government must keep pace with international intelligence on this issue,” Iain Lees-Galloway said.


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