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Rise in number of laser pens shone at aircraft
9:00am Thursday 18th October 2012 in Echo News
YOBS armed with laser pens are dazzling pilots as planes come into land.
Nationally there has been a big rise in the number of laser pen attacks on aircraft in the last three years.
In April this year at Southend Airport the first easyJet airline was targeted as it came into land and on the same evening an Aer Lingus flight from Waterford, Ireland was also targeted.
No more incidents have been reported by the airport since.
However in 2011 police launched an operation to tackle the problem of people in high-rise flats and hanging around in nearby Eastwood Park shining the pens on the flightpath to Southend Airport.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says the high intensity light can dazzle pilots during take-off and landing. In the last three years there have been more than 4,500 reports of pilots being targeted by lasers.