Page last updated at 12:35 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

Planes targeted by laser pointers

Laser pointer

At least five attempts have been made to dazzle pilots with laser pointers in the skies over Northern Ireland in the last six months, it has emerged.

This is according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

In the most serious incident on 4 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 Halloween night, numerous planes - on approach to the same airport - were targeted by a green laser.

Caroline Evans from the British Airline Pilots Association said there have been prosecutions in other parts of the UK.

"The offence, endangering the safety of an aircraft, comes under the Air Navigation Order and carries a custodial sentence," she said.

"We would like to see anybody who is stupid enough to do this, put behind bars and taught a lesson."

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