You may let your hair down at a music concert dancing amid flashing laser beams, but the celebrations are proving to be a safety hazard for low-flying aircraft landing or taking off at airports nearby.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has flagged flashing of laser beams as an emerging safety issue in the National Aviation Safety Plan for 2018-2022.
According to the DGCA, a total of 39 cases of laser interferences have been reported in the recent past at major cities (Delhi and Mumbai) during landing and take-off.
The 39 incidents reported across may be a small number but significant enough for the DGCA to flag it as an emerging safety issue in the National Aviation Safety Plan (NASP).
Civil drones, laser interferences, communication errors caused by the use of incorrect phraseologies, inappropriate use of plain English, threat due to ground handling services have been flagged in a separate chapter on emerging safety issues in the NASP.
The DGCA said that aiming a laser at an aircraft, especially during approach and landing, may blind the flight crew and lead to loss of control during a critical phase of flight potentially causing a serious incident or accident.
The civil aviation regulator has pitched for creating public awareness for preventing the occurrence of such incidences.
“All aerodrome operators need to maintain and report the data of such laser interferences,” the DGCA said.
In the US, nearly 7000 incidents of laser targeting were reported in 2015, a sharp increase from the 3,900 instances reported in 2014 and 2013. In Britain, 1400 incidents of laser targeting were reported in 2015, prompting scientists to look for solutions to work on creating filters to block lasers.
“For further development of safety risk control in this aspect, it is required to monitor the emerging seriousness of this issue,” the DGCA said.