A motion to ask for improved regulations passed at the meeting.
If the remainder of 2016 continues at that rate, there would be about 47 laser incident reports for the entire year. Civil Aviation Authority said that persons carrying “high-powered” laser pointers in public should be arrested even if they are not using them.Except for mentioning the 2014 legislation, the news report did not indicate any other reason for the decline. He said that CAA and the British Airline Pilots Association want legislation outlawing possession of high-powered laser pens without a license.The chief executive of CAA, Andrew Haines, was speaking in late August 2016 to the Press Association about the misuse of lasers, which he considers to be a greater threat than drone near-misses, since laser misuse is “a deliberate attempt to cause harm.”According to Haines, laser attacks have permanently damaged pilots’ vision, and it is conceivable that they could cause an aircraft crash.states that “[t]he police helicopter used in South Yorkshire has suffered nearly 100 laser attacks over the past year.” The article also states this is “more laser attacks than any other police aircraft in the country.”Assuming “over the past year” means “in the last 12 months”, that would be an average of about two laser illuminations per week.A separate article from BBC News states that in 2015 there were 91 reported laser illuminations of National Police Air Service aircraft.
The largest number was 20 attacks against NPAS helicopters taking off from its Carr Gate headquarters near Wakefield, West Yorkshire.”Reasons for the apparent discrepancy in numbers are not clear.It may be that South Yorkshire is not a member of the NPAS, which provides centralized air support to local police forces.The BBC News chart below shows the 2015 NPAS laser attacks: The NPAS is testing laser protective eyewear, as a means to help protect flight crews.The British Airline Pilots’ Association called for greater regulation of lasers and drones, at a Trades Union Congress meeting in Brighton on September 14 2016.BALPA noted that there were 1,439 reports of laser attacks in 2015, and that 55% of pilots experienced a laser attack in the past 12 months.A spokesperson said BALPA “has been campaigning for a long time for high-powered lasers to be treated as what they are — offensive weapons.”The association was also concerned with the threat of incidents involving drones.