A still from a Transport Canada public-safety announcement regarding lasers and aircraft. (Transport Canada image)

A still from a Transport Canada public-safety announcement regarding lasers and aircraft. (Transport Canada image)

Editorial: Pointing lasers at aircraft despicable act

The consequences of those actions can be extremely serious

The incidents of someone in a neighbourhood near Ladysmith pointing lasers at aircraft that came to light recently are a serious matter.

The blinding nature of a beam when it hits a pilot’s face can cause them to become somewhat disoriented just long enough to lose control of the aircraft. It’s despicable to think it could result in a crash and, while flying over a residential neighbourhood, the consequences of what can happen on the ground go without saying.

RELATED: Police working with Transport Canada to investigate laser interference of aircraft

You’d think everyone would agree with the assessment of this dangerous practice, but apparently not. A person wrote on Facebook in the wake of news coverage of the incident that there are so many planes flying over residences in the area that something needs to be done and almost justified the action.

Whether you agree with the numbers of planes on routes, doing training with a flying club or anything else, that certainly doesn’t make it right in any sense of reality to point a laser beam at an aircraft. What’s that going to do other than potentially cause serious harm?

People in this part of the Island are obsessed with the perceived overabundance of freighters in the waters and planes in the skies. Many seem to think their peace is being sacrificed by both and want them gone.

Unless you live in one of the most remote regions on Earth where there’s scarcely a human being to be found for thousands of miles (which is getting to be a rarity on this overpopulated planet), you won’t find too many populated places where you can get away from the noise, the lights or whatever it is that irks people.

The bottom line is no one has the right to take such drastic actions as pointing a laser at an aircraft because they don’t like them. Or it could be a case of mischief which is also beyond reckless.

Police are on the case in consultation with Transport Canada and let’s hope they’re able to find the culprits before disaster strikes. Whoever’s doing this might not realize it but this is a serious criminal offense and could result in a significant fine or jail time.

Putting people’s lives at risk certainly warrants a stiff penalty.

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