PM orders investigation into "lasering" of airplanes at Hanoi airport

By Doan Loan   June 25, 2016 | 08:27 pm PT
PM orders investigation into "lasering" of airplanes at Hanoi airport
A plane at Noi Bai Airport. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Hoa
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered an urgent investigation into so-called lasering of airplanes at Noi Bai International Airport that has been going on since February this year.

He has also asked related agencies to take all necessary measures to prevent it from happening again.

The Ministry of Public Security has been put in charge of instructing local police during the investigation and punishing those responsible, while the Ministry of Information and Communications is informing the public about laws and regulations on aviation safety as well as the dangers of lasering airplanes.

In June, the National Committee of Civil Aviation Security has reported four cases in which airplanes at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi have been targeted by laser beams.

On June 2, a security unit detected laser lights to the southwest of the airport. 

The incident was repeated on the evening of June 11 when a pilot of state-owned carrier Vietnam Airlines, who was about to land the airplane, detected laser beams towards the west, 40 kilometers from Noi Bai Airport. A day later, another Vietnam Airlines crew detected green laser lights projected onto the cockpit.

Green laser beams, coming from the west, were also seen projected onto a VietJet plane on June 14.

According to the National Committee of Civil Aviation Security Committee, the four cases violated international and domestic aviation security regulations.

This isn’t the first time the problem has occurred at Noi Bai Airport. During the first five months of this year, one pilot said a laser had been shone directly into his eyes.

In March, laser beams were projected onto a Vietnam Airlines plane when it was taking off, dazzling the pilot.

Aviation security experts said that projecting laser beams at pilots is a safety threat, especially if the aircraft is landing or taking off. Experts have asked authorities to control the sale of lasers to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

So far, security experts and airport authorities agree that the culprits are probably local youngsters, rather than hostile forces.

“It’s highly likely that local youngsters hanging out in the evening are projecting laser beams onto airplanes for fun,"a top official from the Northern Airport Authority said.

A security expert from Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority also agreed with the statement, adding that laser beams could originate from music gatherings in the surrounding region.

The culprits behind the cases have yet to be identified.

Related news:

Youngsters suspected of "lasering" airplanes at Vietnam airport

Laser beams threaten planes at Vietnam's international airport

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