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Last Updated: Tuesday October 13 2009 13:37 GMT

Lasers cause problems for pilots

Laser lights aimed at aircraft

Pilots want the law changed so it is easier to punish people who aim lasers at planes and helicopters in the air.

More and more people are getting hold of laser pens and aiming them at aircraft, which makes it really hard for the pilots to see.

It's a really big problem when planes are landing, which is already the most dangerous part of the flight.

Now people who work in the industry want to make it a crime to aim a laser at an aircraft.

Some people have already been sent to prison for using lasers on planes, but creating a new criminal offence may make it easier to punish them.

Cases of laser use in the UK
2007 - 29
2008 - 206
2009 - 461 (so far)

One pilot told the BBC: "It's so brilliant that it takes away your vision momentarily.

"Well I've got 140 passengers travelling at 170 miles an hour. The consequences of someone shining a laser in my eye at that point, isn't worth bearing the consequences."

Even if someone is miles away from the plane they can still reach the cockpit with a laser pen so it should never be done.

The problem seems to be getting worse because buying the lasers is getting easier and easier thanks to the internet.