A plane on route from Trenton to Moncton, N.B., last week reported laser interference to Transport Canada.
The federal governing body confirmed that it is aware of an alleged incident on June 7 from a CANLink Aviation plane that had departed Trenton, for Moncton. The laser interference was reported near Amherst.
No damage was reported. Transport Canada said it works to ensure the accuracy and integrity of data in the Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System; however, the information should be treated as preliminary, unsubstantiated, and subject to change.
It stated aiming a laser at an aircraft is dangerous and harmful to the pilot, aircraft passengers, and people on the ground. When a laser is directed at an aircraft cockpit, it can distract the pilot, create glare that affects the pilot’s vision, and cause temporary blindness.
It is illegal to point a laser into an aircraft cockpit. An offender could face up to $100,000 in fines, five years in prison, or both. Citizens should call their local police immediately if they see someone pointing a laser at an aircraft. The public can also report incidents to the Transport Canada regional office in their area.
It encourages Canadians to report laser attacks on aircraft to local law enforcement.
Transport Canada’s national safety awareness campaign aims to help Canadians better understand the serious risks and consequences of pointing a laser at an aircraft. More information on the dangers and consequences of laser strikes, including a video of what it looks like to have a laser pointed at an aircraft’s cockpit, is available on the Transport Canada “Not a bright idea” website: Canada.ca/Not-A-Bright-Idea