Concern over laser attacks on pilots

Monday 14 July 2014 23.37
There were 158 laser attacks on pilots last year
There were 158 laser attacks on pilots last year

The Irish Aviation Authority has confirmed that there were 158 laser "attacks" on pilots in Irish airspace in 2013.

Laser strikes are where beams of light are deliberately shone into the eyes of pilots.

The Defence Forces has confirmed there have been 11 laser attacks on Air Corps aircraft so far this year.

The Air Corps was targeted for a total of 49 such strikes in 2013.

A spokesperson for the Defence Forces said such strikes are a cause of concern for pilots.

They said they are reported to the Irish Aviation Authority and gardaí where deemed appropriate.

Legislation due to pass the final stage of the Oireachtas tomorrow contains a measure making it an offence to dazzle an aircraft pilot with laser beams.

The measure is part of the State Airports Bill and it is due to be signed into law by President Michael D Higgins within days of the final stage in the Seanad.

Conviction under the new legislation may lead to a fine of up to €50,000 or a jail term.