Police issue warning after lasers pointed at planes near Toronto Pearson Airport

Click to play video: 'Police say holiday laser lights potential distraction to pilots' Police say holiday laser lights potential distraction to pilots
WATCH: Police say holiday laser lights potential distraction to pilots – Nov 20, 2017

Toronto police responded to complaints of lasers being pointed at planes near Toronto Pearson Airport on Sunday.

Police said they received reports of lasers directed at planes that were landing and taking off around 6 p.m.

READ MORE: Toronto man charged after laser pointer flashed at police helicopter

Police said they managed to pinpoint the origin of the lasers to an area near Lanyard Park and Beaumond Heights Park.

When officers arrived on scene, they were unable to locate the person or persons responsible for the acts.

READ MORE: Global News chopper targeted by green laser pointer during newscast

Police said laser pointers can potentially blind pilots and are reminding people that doing so is illegal.

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According to federal regulations, anyone caught pointing a laser at an aircraft can face a fine of up to $100,000, five years in prison, or both.

In addition to laser pointers, pilots could face another concern in the form of Christmas laser lights designed to adorn the facades of houses.

These gadgets come with a warning to not project lights at or near the flight path of an aircraft within 10 nautical miles of an airport. If the user’s desired lighting surface is within that radius, users are asked to lower the angle of the light so that the lasers aren’t pointed at the sky.

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While these lights haven’t caused any problems yet, they are a potential problem, say pilots.

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“Generally speaking, the wattage isn’t strong enough for these Christmas lights to cause damage,” said Dan Adamus, spokesperson for the Airline Pilots Association. “However, it’s certainly a distraction especially when you have neighbourhoods full of these Christmas lasers.”

Global News spoke to one Rexdale resident who is re-thinking the laser lights on her property, located along the flight path to Pearson.

“I’m going to think about that… if I’m going to have it on,” the woman said. “The planes — as you can see, there’s one above us right now — they come pretty close and I don’t want to have any problems.”

— With files from Global Toronto reporter Catherine McDonald

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