Two teens accused of shining a laser at the police Eagle helicopter in Auckland will defend the allegation at trial.

Joshua O'Hare-Knight and James Spiers appeared at Auckland District Court today.

Each faces a charge of unnecessarily endangering an aircraft which carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison.

Police allege the pair were at a house party in Mt Albert last May when they pointed a laser at the police helicopter as it flew over looking for a stolen car.

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The pilot then hovered over the house, where police found a laser pen. The pair were arrested soon after.

O'Hare-Knight and Spiers had applied for a discharge without conviction but Judge Allison Sinclair told O'Hare-Knight's lawyer Rosemary Thomson today: "I can tell you in a word: No.''

The defendants' lawyers indicated their clients would go to trial and the men were bailed to reappear next month.

Pilots today called for a ban on the importing of class 3 lasers amid a rise in the number being aimed at aircraft.

New Zealand Airline Pilots Association president Glen Kenny said laser strike were at best a distraction and at work can cause temporary blindness or permanent eye damage.

"And at a critical phase of flight, on approach and close to landing; this is extremely dangerous'' Mr Kenny said.

The Labour Party is supporting the call.

Transport safety spokesman Iain Lees-Galloway said in the last year there had been 100 recorded incidents where lasers had been pointed at cockpits and impaired pilot's vision.

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"The current penalty of 12 months imprisonment or a fine of up to $10,000 for directing a laser at an aircraft in flight is proving an inadequate deterrent.''

LASER CASES

* Pravikash Chandra, 18, is facing four charges of endangering transport, each carrying a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. He appeared at the Manukau District Court last month

* In March 2011 a 17-year-old was charged with reckless diresregard for the safety of a police helicopter after he pointed a green laser at the Eagle helicopter

* A 19-year-old was charged with endangering transport after aiming a laser pen at the police helicopter in December 2010. The charges were dropped because of the accused's "good character'' and personal circumstances

* Vladimir Maricic aimed a laser he bought over the internet into the cockpit of a plane near Wellington Airport in 2008. Maricic said he was trying to see how far the laser would reach. He was sentenced to 200 hours community service.