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Pilots and politicians call for laser ban

The Local · 27 Feb 2011, 09:50

Published: 27 Feb 2011 09:50 GMT+01:00

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“The federal government must act as soon as possible before something happens and people are hurt,” Günter Krings, deputy head of the Christian Democratic Union parliamentary party told the Welt am Sonntag.

“An import ban is necessary for class three and four of these devices. And private people must be banned from bringing these strong lasers into the country.”

This would require a change in the law, but Krings said action was necessary.

“Police pilots and even rescue helicopters are blinded by these dangerous green lasers with increasing frequency,” he said.

Pilot's association Cockpit called for an even tougher reaction, saying that an import ban would not be effective.

“Lasers with more than a Milliwatt of power cannot be sold in shops in Germany, but one can get them over the internet,” said Cockpit member Jörg Handwerg, calling for a ban on owning the strong lasers.

Story continues below…

German air transport companies registered 273 blinding laser attacks last year, nearly eight times as many as the year before.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:17 February 27, 2011 by catjones
Oh, come on. Just some youthful mischief, like graffiti or rolling some homeless guy.
10:31 February 27, 2011 by Meringer
I'm not an expert or anything, but it seems to me that with today's technology, they should have some kind of film, coating or special glass that can be used in the cockpit windows or pilots glasses, that would deflect, refract, abosob or whatever, that type of light frequency.
11:54 February 27, 2011 by Surferjoe
If you talk to pilots they'll tell you the laser attacks on aircraft are becoming more common. Blinding aircraft is not kids stuff, its an issue that could have grave consequences. The question of whether or not a special glass or coating could help has no bearing on the situation as it exists now. in my opinion the government should immediately restrict the ownership and use of lasers before we have a serious accident.
12:25 February 27, 2011 by Landmine
Oh sure, banning the sale of these lasers is going to stop those who already own them from using them. Damn, why didn't I think of that earlier? Just change the law and problem solved!

Just like the story on the Local today about the Canadian in front of the Reichstag doing the Nazi salute. Since that action is banned because the changed the law, no one ever does it do they?

Lets not be so naive here folks....
12:57 February 27, 2011 by ngwanem
they should establish a ban of use within a safe perimeter around airports, to prevent the attacks on planes, as they land and take off.

as landmine stated, banning the sales would not take care of those who bought the lasers before the ban... and when people even get wind of a pending ban, then the sales would triple because afterwards a profitable black market wouldn't be far off.
16:33 February 27, 2011 by bartschaff
In all this discussion they forget those lasers weren't invented for blinding attacks - banning them would harm everyone who makes legal use of them. It'd be like banning knives because they're used in murders.
16:33 February 27, 2011 by catjones
In the US they've been able to trace back the laser to the perp.

If convicted, the maximum sentence an offender could face is 20 years for each charge and a $250,000 fine...
17:21 February 27, 2011 by Landmine
Maybe just make them so they have a maximum range of say 10 meters if that is even possible. It would seem that would be the best solution for new ones coming into the market but not much can be done of those already in the public's hands I would imagine.
01:54 February 28, 2011 by bartschaff

No, you cannot make a laser have range of 10m, not at least without ending up with a useless green flashlight instead of a laser...
02:38 February 28, 2011 by Surferjoe
Well for the general public maybe lasers need replacing with useless green flashlights if people can't stop interfering with aviation.
07:56 February 28, 2011 by Meringer
The point is they already exist. Even if you banned them, people would get them while travelling or have friends send them to them, or some tech. nerds could probably make their own. Kind of like drugs are banned, but you can find them anywhere if you want to. You cannot get rid of them, and charging someone after a plane crashes is too little too late for those onboard, so you need to protect the pilots from them, like I said with a special window or glasses, etc.
10:05 February 28, 2011 by moistvelvet
As has been said, banning them will not stop people from still using them, just as illegal drugs are sill used. Tougher penalties and education of the dangers, if all else fails they could fit aircraft with Hellfires to lock on to the source... ok technically not possible but you get my drift.
04:10 March 1, 2011 by Meringer
Maybe they could take these lasers away from the populace and issue them to sailors, they can then point them at the pirates and blind them while they sail to safety. Just a thought, maybe I need a bier.
09:18 March 1, 2011 by moistvelvet
Maybe the sailors could buy their own!
18:04 March 1, 2011 by johnny108
It's more like the "youthful mischief"- like crashing a plane into a building, or killing foreign athletes during the Olympic games
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