Action Planned on Laser Attacks

Canadian authorities are hoping to catch more laser vandals.
Canadian authorities are hoping to catch more laser vandals.

Various authorities are planning to create a new system to help track down those who shine lasers at aircraft.

At the Air Transport Association of Canada meeting in Vancouver this week, delegates heard on an innovative plan to help find those responsible for laser attacks in time to apprehend them.

What happens now is that pilots report the attack to whatever air traffic facility handling them at the time and it’s up to the controller to call in the appropriate authorities. Since the attack could originate from any of a number of police jurisdictions on the approach to an airport, it can take time for the controller to determine whom to call.

The plan being conceived would give controllers a single alert line to use when laser attacks occur and ground-based dispatchers, usually at the local 9-11 office, would determine who to call.

In some cases, a police helicopter could be dispatched in time to either catch the mischief maker in the act or to search an area with onboard sensors to try to identify suspicious looking characters who could be interviewed on the ground.

Last year there were 461 reported laser incidents in Canada and this year is on pace to exceed that.