PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad,Tuesday February 17, 2015, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government has warned residents in an area close to the Piarco International airport to desist from using laser lights on aircraft warning that the authorities would adopt a zero tolerance of such actions.
The authorities said that on Monday, a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) flight 460 “was hit in the cockpit of the aircraft with the beam of a laser light”, about 2.5 miles short of the airport. It said another CAL plane was also affected by laser light.
“The pilots of both aircraft reports the light source emanated from the Kelly Village area which is on the approach path to Piarco.
“The National Operations Centre (NOC) in its role for air coordination integrates its operation with CAA.
Constant surveillance has revealed the citizens of Kelly Village, St. Helena and Bamboo Village are breaking the law.
“Internationally this irresponsible behaviour and wanton disregard for the law has been deemed and borders on terrorist activity, as the perpetrators are affecting the landing procedures of an aircraft and placing the passengers, other aircraft and the members of the public on the ground in very grave danger.”
The NOC warned of the possible disaster that would occur “if one of these aircraft affected by the stupid act of these personnel on the ground goes down in one of our energy sectors or oil and gas installations the phathom of the catastrophe cannot be imagined”.
The authorities said that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service with the support of the NOC “would be adopting a zero tolerance of such actions and strongly advise that anyone found conducting this illegal act will receive the full brunt of the law.
“The NOC will continue to monitor this situation and with all agencies in a combined effort to bring it to an immediate stop.”
The authorities warn that persons found guilty of committing such acts would on summary conviction fined TT$10,000 (One TT dollar=US$0.16 cents) and to imprisonment of one year.