Lasers pointed at planes during approach to Palmerston North airport — police

The two affected aircraft were approaching Palmerston North airport when the incidents occurred. Photo / Ross Setford
The two affected aircraft were approaching Palmerston North airport when the incidents occurred. Photo / Ross Setford

Lasers were pointed at two commercial aircraft as they approached Palmerston North Airport on Friday evening, police have confirmed.

Senior Sergeant Nathan Davis said the first report was made at 9pm, when a laser was said to have been pointed at an aircraft from in or around Otaki Pl, in Westbrook.

The second was reported at 9.35pm, when the laser was thought to have come from a vehicle on Clutha Pl or Robinson Cres, in Highbury, Davis said.

"Police spoke to a man but no arrests were made."

A Jetstar spokesman said all their inbound flights had landed before the lasers were pointed.

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said no Air New Zealand aircraft were flying in the immediate vicinity when these lasers were pointed.

She said safety is paramount for the airline, it supported the authorities in taking action against those found to have deliberately pointed lasers at planes.

It is an offence for anyone in a public place to have a high-powered laser without reasonable excuse, Davis said.

It is also an offence to endanger an aircraft in any way.

"Due to the potential for serious harm as a result of pointing a laser at an aircraft, there may be serious penalties for those involved."

Central District police wrote on their Facebook page that laser attacks "not only endanger people on board the aircraft but also the public within the vicinity of the flight line".

Anyone who sees someone pointing lasers at planes should call 111 immediately, Davis said.

And anyone with information about the incidents on Friday can also call their nearest police station, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

- NZ Herald

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