Friday, July 08, 2022

Aviation Ministry proposes police action for flashing laser light on aircraft

New Delhi: The Civil Aviation Ministry has proposed police action against those who flash laser light on an aircraft from the surrounding areas of any Indian airport.

In a notification dated July 6, the ministry has sought amendments to Aircraft Rules, 1937, proposing that if the person who is using the laser light is identified, he or she will be first served a notice by a Central government official.

If such a person does not switch off the laser light within 24 hours of the receipt of the notice, the Central government will have the authority to take steps to switch it off and “may also report the matter to the police station concerned” for initiating the action under the Indian Penal Code, it proposed.

If the person who is using the laser light in the vicinity of the airport is not identified, the affected airline operator or airport operator shall “immediately” report the matter to the police station concerned so as to initiate action under IPC, the proposal stated.

Stakeholders and the general public can send their comments on these proposed amendments to the Aircraft Rules, 1937, by August 6, according to the Aviation Ministry.

In October last year, during Durga Puja, multiple pilots had complained to the Kolkata airport’s air traffic controller of laser lights distracting them as they were approaching to land their aircraft, government officials said.  In August 2017, the pilot of an IndiGo Mumbai-Delhi flight had complained to the Delhi airport’s air traffic controller that he was being distracted by green laser light as he was approaching to land the plane, they said.

Taking strong note of the distraction that laser lights may cause to pilots while landing or during take-off, the South Delhi district administration in May 2015 banned the use of such lights at social event venues near the Delhi airport.

08/07/22 PTI/Print

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