Green lasers pointing at aircraft have been depicted from a Saltair residence. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Police working with Transport Canada to investigate laser interference of aircraft

Source pinpointed to the Saltair area

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP is working with Transport Canada to investigate interference from a laser pointed at an aircraft on July 28.

An air traffic controller reported that day a pilot flying at night around 5,000 feet had been “lasered,” meaning a beam from a laser pointer was directed at an aircraft. The location was pinpointed to somewhere in a Saltair neighbourhood.

The laser strike lasted about 20 seconds and appeared to be from a stationary location. Front-line police officers have done patrols of the zone where the beam was thought to originate, but were unable to establish who was involved due to the large possible area and the lack of specific coordinates.

“Laser strikes on aircraft are a serious concern as they can cause temporary blinding of air crew,” noted North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP Staff Sgt. Chris Swain. “Especially at night, laser strikes can lead to a possible loss of control of aircraft, posing a danger to people on the aircraft and the general public. These incidents need to stop immediately.”

Police are urging the public to provide more details about this incident or any similar occurrences. Anyone who has been the subject of a laser pointer while flying is also encouraged to call police and provide details about when and where it happened.

People can provide more information by calling the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522. To remain anonymous, contact Cowichan Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or www.cowichancrimestoppers.com

According to Transport Canada, no one can possess a hand-held laser pointer over one milliwatt outside of a private dwelling within a 10-kilometre radius of an airport or certified heliports.

Lasering any aircraft and intentionally interfering with the performance of flight crew to perform its duties is a criminal offence punishable upon conviction with significant fines, incarceration or both.

PoliceSmall aircraft

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

NDP candidate Babchuk a fixture in local politics since 2005

School trustee, city councillor and regional district chair sets sights on being North Island MLA

Sointula elementary school gets funding for new playground

Funding for the new playground comes from the provincial government’s Playground Equipment Program.

Facey nominated as BC Liberal candidate for the North Island riding

Liberal candidate Norm Facey has a background in forestry and manufacturing.

Some north Island forest service roads to get a minor facelift with COVID-19 recovery funding

Side Bay access road no longer ‘up in the bureaucratic air’ thanks to temporary budget increase

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read