A MANHUNT has been launched for the individual pointing lasers at pilots as they land planes in Gibraltar.
There has been a worrying increase in the laser attacks, which can distract the pilot and endanger the lives of all crew and passengers on-board.
Over the last month, numerous pilots have reported a hand-held laser being pointed at their aircraft by an individual in the Northern Defences’ ‘jungle’ area
The most recent attack, which occurred at night with the plane one mile from touchdown, made it difficult for the pilot to see his instruments in what is already a very tricky landing.
The Director of Civil Aviation, Chris Purkiss, announced it is ‘extremely important’ that the laser attacks are stopped as soon as possible.
“While the individual shining the laser at the aircraft may not appreciate the danger of their activity, he or she is putting in danger the lives of the crew and passengers on-board the aircraft.”
This type of attack is punishable by a jail sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to £10,000.
In severe cases, pilots have also reported long-term damage from laser attacks, including retinal ‘after images’ and momentary ‘flash’ blindness.
All reports are forwarded to the Royal Gibraltar Police who are currently trying to identify the individual responsible.
Anyone with information should contact the police.