Pilots join BALPA for a multitude of very good reasons. One of the things we know our members place very highly is our duty to ensure pilots’ voices are heard at the highest echelons of government, and to ensure decision-makers understand the issues that we care about.
When a laser hits an aircraft, not only is it incredibly distracting, but if any of the light hits the eyeball of the pilot, then they may experience a range of symptoms that make it difficult to land an aircraft safely.
55% of pilots say they have experienced a laser attack in the past 12 months. Scott Gibbons, of the Metropolitan Police Service, provides a policing update in relation to the growing menace of laser strikes on aircraft.
Since 2014 there have been almost 6,500 police reports nationally involving laser pens. It is an issue that presents an everyday danger to airline pilots, so much so that the crew of one Virgin Atlantic flight took the decision to return to Heathrow after reportedly being attacked with a laser. It was not an isolated incident. More than half of British pilots say they have been attacked by lasers in the past year.