Page last updated at 19:31 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009

Concern as lasers target aircraft

Green laser
There have been calls for laser pens to be withdrawn from sale

Officials have expressed concern after nine aircraft landing at Leeds-Bradford airport were targeted by laser guns.

There has been a growing number of attacks using laser guns, which can blind an airline pilot at a crucial time in his landing procedure.

Experts say the attacks often come from specialised lasers used in industry which are more powerful than the ones available across the counter.

The airport said it has a robust procedure to report incidents quickly.

An airport statement said: "This type of activity represents a danger not only to the safety of an aircraft but also to the health of flight crew and we work very closely with the local police air support unit to ensure a quick response to any related incidents."

Captain Ken Medcroft, who runs a flight simulator and also flies aircraft said: "It is just like looking at the sun and it's a serious safety risk."

Planes landing at Edinburgh and Cardiff have also been targeted in recent months.

Motorists, bus and train drivers have all been the subject of laser attacks in recent years.

Last year a 21-year-old man was jailed for four months for temporarily blinding a police helicopter pilot in Manchester.

He used a laser pen, prompting calls for them to be withdrawn from sale.


There have been nine incidents in the past year at the airport

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