Canada Looks At Laser Pointer Ban


Canada is looking at banning some types of laser pointers after its Transport Minister ordered his staff to look at “all possible options” to halt laser attacks on aircraft. Marc Garneau called a news conference last week after there were six reported incidents at Trudeau International Airport in Montreal over two days earlier this month. Garneau said the incidents made him “very, very mad” and spurred the action. He didn’t confirm a laser pointer ban but did say there would be an announcement in the next few weeks.

Laser incidents have actually decreased significantly in the last couple of years, from 590 in 2015 to 379 in 2017 but Garneau isn’t satisfied with that. “That’s not enough. We need to do more,” he said. Two years ago, Garneau’s department began an education campaign describing the danger and outlining the serious penalties those who point lasers at airplanes face ($100,000 fine and five years in jail) but Garneau said those who are responsible for most of the attacks “know darn well what they’re doing.” He said the forthcoming announcement will be “more than just simply continuing the education program.” Government sources told CTV News that could include a ban on imports of especially powerful laser pointers, mandatory warning labels and even stiffer penalties.