LASERS AND AVIATION SAFETY
Blinding pilots with lasers (laser hooliganism) — is a recognized in many countries unlawful act during which sitting near airports attackers use laser pointers of high power (500 mW to 1000 mW), to try to blind pilots of taking off or landing aircraft, preventing them thus from normal completing of the maneuver. Under certain conditions, laser light or other bright lights directed at aircraft can be a hazard. The most likely scenario is when a bright visible laser light causes distraction or temporary flash blindness to a pilot, during a critical phase of flight such as landing or takeoff. It is far less likely, though still possible, that a visible or invisible beam could cause permanent harm to a pilot’s eyes. Laser hooliganism started in he USA in early 1990s, spreading quickly across the globe. It became very «popular» in Russia in 2010-2011, when dozens of such cases were reported in Rostov-on-Don, Moscow, Saint- Petersburg and other airports. Lasers are dangerous only at night, and from all colors, green ones are most aggressive. The most serious consequence of laser attack is temporary loss of spacial orientation and loss of instrument control. Many countries, including Russia have already done certain steps towards air law toughening, in some countries powerful lasers are simply forbidden, in the others laser attacks are equal to terrorism. Once a controller gets a laser attack report from pilots, he has to copy the information about the coordinates, time and other details of the event and relay this information to appropriate authorities.