At least five attempts have been made to dazzle pilots with laser pointers in the skies over Belfast over the last six months.

In the most serious incident early in August, the captain of a Boeing 737 was hit in the eye with a laser as he made his approach to Belfast City Airport.

On 31 October, numerous planes on final approach to the same airport were targeted by a green laser over a full hour.

The most recent involved a Boeing 737 at 4,700 feet ten days ago.

The British Airline Pilots Association said there had been prosecutions for similar offences in other parts of the UK and they would like to see anybody who did this put behind bars and taught a lesson.

A British Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said it took the threat to aviation safety extremely seriously.

‘Any member of the public shining a light at an aircraft or helicopter could endanger the safety of the flight and any person found guilty of such an offence could face a custodial sentence,’ he said.

A PSNI spokeswoman said they were looking for witnesses.

She said police were aware of a number of reports of laser lights being shone at planes and that it was an offence under the air navigation order to endanger aircraft.