POLICE have launched an investigation after lasers were shone at eight planes on approach to Glasgow Airport at the weekend.
Officers are reportedly keen to trace those involved in the incidents, most of which took place between 7pm and 9pm on Sunday.
Modern lasers have the power to blind, and certainly to act as a huge distraction and to dazzle the pilotsJim McAuslan
The incidents came just days after a Virgin Atlantic pilot was dazzled by a laser during a transatlantic flight to New York’s John F Kennedy Airport, and had to return to London Heathrow.
Police believe the majority of the lasers were shone at the aircraft from the Knightswood area of Glasgow.
An eighth laser is believed to have been aimed at a plane from the banks of the River Clyde at around midnight.
All the planes targeted landed safely at Glasgow Airport.
A police spokesperson confirmed that officers were investigating the reports.
The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) claims that lasers can result in ‘temporary loss of vision’ and a ‘visual interference that persists after the source of illumination has been removed’ among other issues.
In November last year, a pilot sustained damage to one eye after a ‘military-strength’ laser was reportedly shone into the cockpit of an aircraft as it approached London Heathrow.
The pilot was left with a burned retina, and had to be treated at hospital.
After the incident involving the Virgin Atlantic flight, Balpa general secretary Jim McAuslan said: “This is not an isolated incident.
“Aircraft are attacked with lasers at an alarming rate and with lasers with ever-increasing strength.
“It is an incredibly dangerous thing to do. Shining a laser at an aircraft puts the aircraft, its crew and all the passengers on board at completely unnecessary risk.
“Modern lasers have the power to blind, and certainly to act as a huge distraction and to dazzle the pilots during critical phases of flight.”
Between 2009 and June 2015, nearly 9,000 laser incidents across the UK were reported to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).