'Laser louts' attack 100 planes in Liverpool in one year
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A 'crazy' trend of shining lasers into the eyes of pilots as they are coming in to land is sweeping the UK and putting air passengers' lives at risk.
Yobs are using the intense light from laser pens - which can be bought easily from shops for around £8 - to target aircraft cockpits.
And, according to the Daily Mail, last night it emerged that the problem is so huge, 93 laser incidents have been reported at Liverpool's John Lennon Airport in the last year alone.
Around 30 of these happened in a five-week period last summer as pilots circle the city preparing to land.
A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told the paper: "We are currently seeing a global surge in incidents of lasers being deliberately shone at aircraft on final approach to airports.
"The aviation industry and the police are doing everything possible to combat the problem and we strongly urge anyone who sees a laser being shone in the night sky near an airport to contact the police immediately.
"Since 2010 shining a laser or light at an aircraft in flight has been a criminal offence and we really need the public's help to stop these dangerous attacks happening."
The maximum sentence for endangering an aircraft in the UK is five years in jail. But a spokesman for the British Airline Association said they'd like to see custodial sentences delivered more frequently, and better regulation on the sale of the devices.
He said: "Pilots can easily be temporarily blinded by laser attacks. Being blinded or dazzled by these incredibly bright lasers puts everyone's life on board that aircraft at risk. People who do this maliciously are playing Russian roulette with people's lives.
"The police are taking this matter more and more seriously, but we would like to see custodial sentences being the norm.
"A longer term way of dealing with this problem is by having stronger regulation over the sale, import and licensing of strong laser devices which BALPA supports."
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