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RCMP turn to public for tips after laser pointed at plane landing in Halifax

A file photo provided by Transport Canada shows the view from a cockpit during a previous laser-pointer incident. (Transport Canada - image credit)
A file photo provided by Transport Canada shows the view from a cockpit during a previous laser-pointer incident. (Transport Canada - image credit)

Halifax District RCMP are turning to the public for tips after a green laser was pointed at the flight deck of an incoming plane at Halifax Stanfield International Airport early Monday morning.

"A lot of people just think of them as little toys," said Cpl. Chris Marshall. But often the lasers used in such incidents "are basically powerful enough that they could blind a pilot ... putting the lives of hundreds of people at stake."

The incoming flight was preparing to land at around 6:50 a.m. when the pilots saw the laser, according to a police press release.

The pilots reported the incident to air traffic control and said they believed the laser had originated near the golf course on Old Guysborough Road, the release said.

RCMP conducted a patrol and knocked on doors of residents in the area but have so far have found nothing.

Anyone found pointing a laser at a plane could face criminal charges as well as charges under the Aeronautics Act, Marshall said.

Jail time, fines up to $100K

"With fines that could be up to $100,000 on top of jail time ... it's an incredibly serious incident," he said. "We would ask people to refrain from doing these things."

Marshall said even if members of the public don't know who did it, small details shared with police could be a big help with the investigation.

"It would be anything from, Have you seen a car? Have you seen anybody in the area you don't know? Did you hear anything or see anything in a specific area — in this case, probably the golf course? Were you looking outside and happen to see something?'" Marshall said.

Anyone with information on the incident can share tips with police at 902-490-5020. Anonymous tips can be shared with Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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