Air New Zealand seeks ban on hand-held lasers

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Air New Zealand (ANZ) has called for a ban on hand-held class 3 green-light laser devices, which have been used to target pilots in control of aircraft.

The airline says that the ban would bring New Zealand into line with Australian legislation on this issue.

The number of incidents, where the powerful lasers have been deliberately shone at pilots in control of aircraft, is increasing, the carrier adds.

ANZ says that the current legislative penalties for the culprits are not proving to be a deterrent.

"Laser pointing has the potential to distract pilots, impact their night vision and potentially cause eye damage. The fact that these incidents occur during the critical phases of take off and landing makes the practice potentially very dangerous," says general manager of ANZ's airline operations David Morgan.