Blinding laser lights target planes as they land at Dhaka Airport

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On the evening of October 2, a NOVOAIR flight from Cox’s Bazar was preparing to land in Dhaka. As the flight crew made their landing announcements, a sudden flash of searing green light burst through the window, shocking passengers with its intensity.

Destabilized by the incident, the passengers asked the crew if they had been hit by laser lights. “It’s a regular event,” said a crew member.

When asked about the strange phenomenon, the pilot of the plane and other representatives of the airline said that many flights suffered this “laser attack” as they descended on the runway at Shahjalal International Airport. after dark. They think it’s some kind of “farce”.

The powerful ray can blind a spectator for a few seconds if it hits the eye directly.

Every second of a plane’s landing process is essential and any disruption to that point, no matter how harmless, could prove disastrous.

Mahbubur Rahman, president of the Bangladesh Airlines Pilots’ Association or BAPA and a full-fledged experienced pilot, expressed concern and dissatisfaction with this recurring problem.

“It is a dangerous thing to do,” he said. “It happens when a plane descends at Dhaka airport. This sometimes also happens on takeoff.

“We don’t usually mind it when we’re in the air, but when we come in for a landing, it can strike the eye and make us temporarily blind.”

The effect of lasers is somewhat similar to looking directly at welding jobs without proper eye protection, he said.

“We have to do something to stop it,” Mahbubur said, adding that he himself had been the victim of these “laser attacks” on several occasions. “Whether it’s through police intervention or public awareness about it, it has to stop. “

“The person involved may be having a little fun. But they don’t understand how dangerous it can be. Every second of a landing is crucial.

Highlighting his own experiences, Mahbubur said that the “laser attacks” were not the work of one person, but coordinated by several people.

Many people crowd into the Dolipara area just behind the runway at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka to witness the landing and take-off of flights. Photo: Abdullah Al Momin Many people crowd the Dolipara area just behind the runway at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka to watch the flights land and take off. Photo: Abdullah Al Momin “You may not believe me, but they are not alone. Two or three people coordinate to direct lasers at planes from two or three different places.
A pilot for a private airline, on condition of anonymity, said: “Those involved in this may not even know how dangerous it is.”

“Every airport has a landing card. The table specifies how high planes must fly at certain distances from the airport. We follow this graph during landing.

“When landing, we are in close contact with the airport control tower. Not only can laser attacks break our focus or blur our vision, they can also interfere with tracking the landing map and taking accurate readings from our instruments. “

Kamrul Islam, spokesman for US-Bangla Airlines, said the carrier’s flights had been the victims of such “attacks”.

“Anything that can distract a pilot while landing presents a serious risk,” he said. “Such an incident could confuse the pilot and lead to disaster. “

“I think those who do that are probably just having fun. But they don’t envision the consequences, or maybe they don’t have the capacity to do so. We have to make them understand the situation.

Raising public awareness of the dangers of such a “prank” is key to avoiding such incidents in the future, the airline official said.

Zia Rahman, professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Dhaka, believes that indiscipline and lack of governance may play a role in the actions of these dangerous “pranksters”.

“We have cities now, but we haven’t yet developed a true civic or law-abiding culture. As such, people still don’t have the innate understanding that they can’t do whatever they want. “

Bangladesh and other Third World countries were once known as “soft states”, where institutions did not develop properly. “Lack of good governance, indiscipline and corruption are rife in these countries. We haven’t improved much from this situation, ”Zia said.

He also called for an investigation into whether the “laser attacks” are “sabotage attempts”.

“We have to ask ourselves if this is the work of an organized network and if there is anarchism involved.”

“We should also investigate whether terrorism or any other negative motive is involved. We tend to take things lightly. We only act after something important happens.

The government should take immediate preventive action, the professor said, reports bdnews24.com.


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