Regina police say the public keeps pointing lasers at their plane and other aircraft in the city.
A Regina Flying Club Cessna 172N reported three green "laser strikes" on Oct. 22, according to Transport Canada's Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS).
The report said the Regina police plane responded and also reported possibly being hit with the laser.
Regina police confirmed that on the day in question, a plane was targeted with a laser at around 1:30 a.m. CST. Police arrested a 38-year-old man and charged him with mischief endangering life.
"Members of the Aerial Support Unit (ASU) used the plane's onboard technology and camera to quickly confirm the location of the suspect and direct patrol officers to the location on the ground," a Regina Police Service (RPS) spokesperson said in an emailed response.
A laser pointed at an aircraft can hinder the pilot's vision, disorienting or even incapacitating them, police say. More powerful lasers can also cause temporary flash blindness and afterimages.
It is illegal to possess a hand-held laser over 1 mW outside of a private dwelling within a 10-kilometre radius of an airport and certified heliports. The penalty for intentionally interfering with an aircraft by using a laser can be up to $100,000 in fines and five years in prison.
There were 1,965 "laser attacks" reported to Transport Canada and published in the CADORS from 2015 to 2019 from across Canada.
RPS said that, in addition to the Oct. 22 incident, it has laid charges related to laser strikes on RPS aircraft six other times this year, with seven total arrests:
In January, a 34 year-old man was charged with mischief over $5,000.
In May, a 52 year-old man was arrested and charged with mischief endangering life.
In July, a 34-year-old man was charged with mischief endangering life.
In August, a man was charged with two counts of mischief endangering life.
On Sept. 8, a 48-year-old man was arrested.
On Sept. 11, two more people were arrested.
The police said the incidents were not related to each other and there is not one specific area that the strikes come from.