Transport Canada has received at least five reports of lasers being pointed at private and commercial airplanes flying over Windsor-Detroit.
Four times a green laser was said to be pointed at planes landing at or taking off from Windsor International Airport, according to Transport Canada’s Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS). The fifth incident involved a plane descending into Detroit.
The five reported incidents happened in November and December of last year. All of them happened at night.
A green laser was allegedly pointed at an Air Canada Jazz flight from Toronto to Windsor on Nov. 28.
A day later, a laser was reportedly pointed at two different planes. During the first instance, a Skylink Enterprise Beech 1900C was “illuminated by a green laser while climbing through 7,000 feet.”
The other involved an unidentified plane descending into Detroit.
On Dec. 5, the same Skylink plane reported a similar incident. At that time, the pilot reported the laser was coming from a residential home on Chelsea Park Way in Lakeshore.
Transport Canada says all five incidents were reported to OPP.
A call to the OPP was not immediately returned.
Transport Canada statistics show laser strikes in 2013 were up 24 per cent over 2012. There were 461 laser-pointer strikes against aircraft in Canadian skies last year, compared to 357 in 2012.
Capt. Craig Blandford, president of the Air Canada Pilots’ Association, previously told Radio-Canada International, that at best being targeted by a laser is a distraction to pilots and at worst they could lose their night vision when they need it most.
Pilots can also suffer eye damage and be grounded.
The Aeronautics Act already prohibits the targeting of aircraft by laser pointers with maximum penalties of five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $100,000.