Laser strikes, laser attacks, or laser illuminations on commercial aircraft are causing global concern as laser pointers continue to increase in strength and decrease in price. Here are some facts about why laser pointers can be potentially dangerous for pilots that are attempting to land or depart an airport:
Laser strikes on commercial aircraft are rising globally and laser pointers are increasing in power and decreasing in price. Lasers can distract pilots during critical phases of flight and can cause temporary visual impairment.
According the to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there was a 1300% increase in the number of laser incidents in the United States between 2005 and 2013.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reported that in 2016, Heathrow remained the airport experiencing the highest level of attacks at 151 incidents - up from 121 (25%) in 2015. The number of laser attacks at Glasgow airport almost doubled to 83 in 2016, making it the second most targeted airport. Birmingham was third at 73, followed by Manchester (72), London City (62) and London Gatwick (55).