Christmas laser lights causing problems for Okanagan airport
By Steve Arstad
A new form of Christmas lighting using lasers is being blamed for a number of laser sightings in the aviation industry, including an incident at Penticton Regional Airport earlier this week.
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December 24, 2015 - 1:00 PM
PENTICTON - A new form of Christmas lighting may have been at issue behind a police incident at Penticton Regional Airport earlier this month.
RCMP were called to Penticton Regional Airport on Sunday evening, Dec. 13, after a pilot reported seeing a green laser light flash in the cockpit as he was about to land, Penticton RCMP media spokesperson Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth says.
Wrigglesworth says Transport Canada was notified of the incident. Similar incidents have been reported across the country and in the United States.
It’s believed a new form of Christmas decoration known as the 'Star Shower' laser projector may be contributing to the problem.
The Star Shower home laser projector, now widely available, is noted on the website LaserPointerSafety.com as being responsible for at least three incidents involving six aircraft, where pilots were illuminated with light from the projectors. The projectors were being used for holiday decorating, but stray beams were projected into the flight paths of aircraft flying overhead.
There are no warning labels on the outside of the product, but the instruction sheet does present a notice advising users not to project the lights at or within the flight path of an aircraft.
Wrigglesworth advises residents using Christmas decorations that project laser light to be aware of the overhead hazards and ensure the projectors are properly aimed.
More information on the dangers of lasers and aviation can be found on the Federal Aviation Agency website.
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