Airport laser incidents: Expert explains guidelines after Civil Aviation Authority call to arrest users

Airport laser incidents: expert explains guidelines after the Civil Aviation Authority call to arrest users

Lasers can be highly damaging to the eyes

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

An expert has explained the rules and guidelines surrounding the use and sale of lasers in the UK following a call by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to arrest any person found with powerful laser pointers - even if they are not using them.

Figures released by the CAA reveal there were 1,439 reported incidents where a laser was shone onto aircraft in the UK last year. Heathrow Airport reported 121 instances, Birmingham Airport had 94, and Manchester Airport listed a total of 93 occurrences.

Michael Andrews, manager of MegalaserUK, explained the practical uses of the devices and what rules are already in place to limit their sale. 

"Trading Standards control the sale of dangerous goods, and we work closely with them," he told Paul Ross. "They set guidelines for us. We only sell to over-18s, and when we sell a laser pointer, we ask for the reason the customer wants it. 

"Most of them are for film and photography use, and we get calls from construction companies who want a bright dot to be seen in the daytime. There are a lot of genuine reasons [for their usage].

"But, of course, people will misuse them. A laser of any power should never be pointed in someone's face."