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Laser beam aimed at WestJet flight nearing airport

Jan 12 2012

Police are investigating after a green laser beam was pointed at a WestJet flight as it approached Victoria International Airport Tuesday night.

Cpl. Chris Swain, of Sidney-North Saanich RCMP, said the light, pointed from near Mount Douglas park, entered the plane's cockpit.

But the pilots were unaffected and the plane landed safely.

"The pilots were obviously concerned about it, so they told the airport, who phoned us," Swain said.

"We went out and spoke to the pilots at the airport . and they were quite confident that the laser originated in the Mount Doug area of Saanich."

Saanich police officers searched Mount Douglas park, but could not find any suspects.

Transport Canada said it received 229 reports of laser incidents in 2011. Of those, 38 were in B.C.

The agency said pointing a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft jeopardizes the safety of pilots and passengers and is a federal offence under the Aeronautics Act. It carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $100,000 fine.

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