October 7, 2020

Laser Attacks on the Rise near Amherst


In the last three weeks, at least three laser attacks on light aircraft have been reported by pilots flying over Amherst, Nova Scotia, according to Transport Canada’s online incident reporting system CADORS.

In each of the three cases, the devises were pointed at Moncton Flight College aircraft. The RCMP was notified in each case. Investigations by the police into the first two incidents have concluded with no charges, and the investigation into the third case, which was reported on October 2, is ongoing without any charges being laid yet.

When contacted by the CBC, Transport Canada said that there is “currently insufficient information for the department to open an investigation pertaining to these incidents.”

“Citizens should call their local police immediately if they see someone pointing a laser at an aircraft,” said TC spokeswoman Cybelle Morin.

A notice posted on Transport Canada’s website states:

With some exceptions, it is illegal to possess hand-held lasers over 1 milliwatt (mW) in public areas within:

  • municipalities within the greater Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver regions
  • a 10-kilometre radius of any airport and certified heliports

The same website also points out that anyone convicted of intentionally interfering with an aircraft by using a laser could face up to $100,000 in fines and up to five years in prison.