28 October 2020
A petition is live to restrict the online sale of handheld laser pens, to help protect helicopter pilots, who can be targeted in attacks. You can sign the petition here: https://bit.ly/3mA22FT
Handheld lasers can have several legitimate uses, such as during a lecture or training session, to highlight information on a slide, or in the building and construction industry, to measure angles and levels.
Sadly, however, these handheld lasers can also cause great harm and laser attacks on aircraft, trains and ships are not uncommon. Not only do they cause great distraction to the operator, putting them at risk of losing control, they can also cause permanent eye damage.
Laser attacks often take place when an aircraft is low, and helicopters are therefore good potential targets. At EAAA, we have unfortunately had some incidences of these attacks, however catching the perpetrators (who can be fined and face a prison sentence of up to five years) is difficult.
Therefore, restricting ownership is the only way to mitigate the risk and help protect our crews.