Vietnam considers jail time for culprits behind airplane 'lasering'

By Doan Loan   July 5, 2016 | 02:59 am PT
Aviation authority wants to throw the book at people who jeopardize flights just for fun.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAA) has asked the government to hand down criminal penalties to people who shine lasers onto airplanes, seriously endangering the safety of the flights.

The CAA said that in the first six months of this year, six lasering cases were reported across the country, with four at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.

It also made a reference to a document from the U.S. Aviation Administration, which said that laser beams can affect pilots' vision, making them lose concentration and even causing blindness. This is especially dangerous when the plane is landing or taking off.

However, under the current law in Vietnam, people who project lasers onto planes only receive a fine of VND10-20 million ($450-900), which is not strict enough, the CAA said.

The authority has asked the government to add the violation to Vietnam’s criminal code so that culprits will face fines of VND30 million-VND100 million ($1,350-$5,000) or even five years in prison.

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

The most recent incident happened on June 14 when green laser beams, coming from the west, were seen projected onto a VietJet Air plane.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked agencies to investigate the incidents and take all necessary measures to prevent them from happening again.

Related news:

Laser beams threaten planes at Vietnam's international airport

Youngsters suspected of "lasering" airplanes at Vietnam airport

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