More cases of laser lights being flashed at planes using Changi Airport

Laser lights shone into aircraft cockpit could cause discomfort, distract or even confuse the pilots. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Laser lights shone into aircraft cockpit could cause discomfort, distract or even confuse the pilots. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Pilots flying in and out of Changi Airport are reporting more incidents of people flashing laser lights at them.

This is dangerous and should not be done, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) which has already received 16 such reports between January and March. Last year, there were a total of 25 incidents.

A CAAS spokesman said: "A laser light shone into an aircraft cockpit could cause discomfort, distract or even confuse the pilots." This could endanger the flight, as well as people on board and on the ground, especially during the "critical phases" of landing and take-off, she added.

To increase public awareness, the authority has distributed about 76,000 circulars to households in the east.

Laser pointers, commonly used during meetings or presentations, typically emit red light. The use of lasers, which are classified based on their beam power output, is regulated by the National Environment Agency.

Licences are required to import, possess and use very powerful lasers.

In its circular, the CAAS said that under the Singapore Air Navigation Order, first-time offenders can be fined up to $20,000.

In case of a subsequent conviction, offenders face a maximum penalty of a $40,000 fine and a jail term of up to 15 months.

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