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Lasers pointed at aircraft may lead to disaster

Lasers pointed at aircraft may lead to disaster

Niël Terblanché

SEVERAL incidences where people pointed laser beams at aircraft flying over Windhoek prompted the Namibian Police issued a stern warning to cease and desist with the practice to avoid facing the full wrath of the law and to prevent the possibility of a disaster.
According to a statement issued by Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi, the head of the Nampol’s Public Relations Division, a 34-year-old man was recently arrested after he used a laser pointer to blind the pilot of Nampol’s Airwing helicopter while the aircraft was busy with an air patrol in the vicinity of the Goreangab Dam in Katutura.

Pictured: A person using a laser pointers to blind the pilot of an aircraft as it approaches and airport: – Photo: Contributed

“The suspect appeared in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court and was granted bail of N$1 000.”
According to Deputy Commissioner Kanguatjivi parents residing in the Golgota suburb of Katutura were also cautioned after their children also pointed a laser beam emitting device at the police chopper.
He said the use of laser beams are dangerous and poses a risk that may lead to disaster especially when directed at the people piloting aircraft or those working in air traffic control towers.
“It is against this background that the Namibian Police is sending a stern warning to those individuals that are in the habit of flashing laser beams toward aircraft landing and taking off at an airport. Such people, when arrested, will face the full wrath of the law. Parents are also encouraged to educate their children on the dangers of using laser emitting devices irresponsibly.”
Deputy Commissioner Kanguatjivi went further and said that the Civil Aviation Act, Act 6 of 2016, Section 214 states that a person who acts in a manner that endangers an aircraft or any person in an aircraft commits an offence and would be liable for a fine of up to N$100 000 or a jail term of up to five years or both. Section 216 of the same act states that a person who tempers or interfere with any aircraft, any component of an aircraft or its equipment including smoke detectors commits an offence that is punishable by a fine of N$50 000 or a prison term of up to two years or both.
“Perpetrators and would be perpetrators of such acts should stop or be prepared to face the full wrath of the law.”
Deputy Commissioner Kanguatjivi warned parents to caution their children not to point laser emitting devices at people or aircraft.

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