Certain types of consumer laser devices could be banned in Canada in response to Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s call that the government explore “all possible options” to stop laser attacks on aircraft. The minister gave the directive to his staff because he’s not satisfied with a 25 percent reduction in laser incidents from 590 in 2015 to 379 last year. “This is not only reckless, it is criminal and it is absolutely essential that we bring those numbers down because one is too many, there’s no question about it,” he told the Toronto Star.
Commonly available lasers have the power to cause serious eye damage at five miles and while there have been no documented cases of permanent disability of pilots or accidents being caused by lasers, Garneau is insisting they be stopped because there is potential for a “catastrophic” crash. Transport Canada has an ongoing education campaign warning of the dangers of lasers but Garneau said those who are pointing at airplanes are well aware of what they’re doing and more needs to be done. “What I can tell you is that we will choose a solution that is more than just simply continuing the education program.”