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WestJet crew reports laser strike while landing at Orlando International Airport

FILE - Lasers being pointed at planes has been causing concern within the aviation industry. Global News

The pilot and crew of WestJet flight 1984 on Saturday were able to land the plane safely despite a laser strike incident.

According to WestJet spokesperson Morgan Bell, the crew aboard the flight from St. John’s, Newfoundland reported a laser strike incident had occurred as it was descending into Orlando International Airport.

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According to Bell, pilots are “extremely focused” during all phases of flight, but especially during take-off and landing, which is when most laser incidents occur.

“When any sort of light enters the flight deck, pilots are trained to look away and maintain focus but they must also maintain vigilant with respect to their surroundings and monitor the apron prior to landing,” Bell wrote in an email response to Global News.

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According to Bell, laser strike incidents are reported immediately to local authorities for further investigation.

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“Laser incidents pose a serious concern to crew and aircraft safety and have serious repercussions for those found to be shining lasers in a manner that could result in injury or damage,” Bell said.

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Bell said for safety and health reasons, any pilot who reports being struck by a laser is required to have an ophthalmology evaluation.

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“Pilots take on an incredible responsibility controlling an aircraft, and it is WestJet’s duty to ensure a safe work environment for them to operate in,” Bell said.

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