There are wide allegations of laser beams being pointed at the cockpits of aircrafts landing and taking off at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
A number of pilots who experienced such serious problems with vision alleged that they are being hit with laser beams from the ground to their eyes which disrupt their landing and may cause fatal accidents.
Many pilots are having to face various problems due to sudden laser light focus on their eyes. Pilots, both local and foreign airliners, said they are forced to close their eyes repeatedly during landing due to laser beams focused at them during landing.
Many of the pilots also said that they had submitted complaints to the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) before but no remedy is in sight as of now.
Meanwhile, pilots often see kites flying in the air spaces of landing zone next to the airport while landing during the day. It also interferes with the pilots' attention.
However, in recent times, the government has sent messages to the nearby residents not to use laser beam during takeoff and landing of aircrafts from the ground.
It is to be noted, a good number of residents who are living on the northern side of the airport can enjoy the aircraft's landing and takeoff. Most often, laser beams are pointed from that side when darkness appears.
Meanwhile, the officials concerned asked the law enforcement agencies to take action against those culprits, but due to distance and darkness they failed to catch the real offenders. Finally, the authorities sent mobile messages to raise awareness among the city dwellers.
Dhaka airport Executive Director Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan told Bangladesh Post, “Residents of the northern side of the airport often focus laser beam to the aircraft cockpits when pilots take preparations to take off or land at the airport. Pointing laser to the pilots’ eye is a heinous crime as it may cause major accidents anytime.”
“We have specified different spots adjacent to the airport. We have talked to the police on duty in those areas. Discussions have been held with leaders of those areas. Whenever we hear about such incidents, we inform the concerned police station. However, no one has been held in the act,” Ahsan said adding, “In addition to taking action, we are informing the people about the consequences of facing such disturbing laser light. Awareness scrolls are also being provided through cable operators in Uttara areas,” he added.
A senior pilot of Biman Bangladesh Airlines recently informed the media that every second is precious during landing. Putting laser beams from the ground to the pilots often makes them blind which disrupts the landing approach.
In June 2019, CAAB issued a directive on lasers use. The directive said, “Laser beams are being focused at the aircraft cockpits targeting the take-off and landing of the planes in the airports of the country. This is a punishable offense under the Civil Aviation Act-2017. The laser focus thus aimed at the pilots’ vision causes problems in controlling the plane, which may put flight operations at risk. So, everyone is asked to refrain from pointing laser beams so that a flight can take off and land safely.”