Laser Strikes and Aircraft

Pilots are calling for tougher laws and penalties to deter people shining lasers into cockpits of planes.

It comes after an Auckland man who shone a laser into the cockpits of a police helicopter and an Air New Zealand plane avoided a large fine and time in prison.

Twenty-seven year old Jesse James Halpin was sentenced to 12 months' supervision and 100 hours of community work for the Civil Aviation Act breach.

New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association technical officer David Reynolds joined Paul Henry this morning.

"Pointing the laser is very dangerous for a number of reasons, the most obvious that is can damage the pilots eyesight. But also the danger of the aircraft and everyone below the aircraft. It is incredibly stupid to point a laser," he says.

"In the States, people who point lasers at planes get 17 years in jail. The crime is treated like it should be."

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