158 laser attacks in Irish airspace

The Irish Aviation Authority has said that there were 158 laser "attacks" on pilots in the Republic of Ireland's airspace in 2013.

Laser strikes are where beams of light are deliberately shone into the eyes of pilots.

The Irish Defence Forces have confirmed there have been 11 laser attacks on Air Corps aircraft so far this year.

The Air Corps was targeted in 49 such incidents in 2013.

Legislation due to pass its final stage at the Irish parliament on Tuesday contains a measure making it an offence to dazzle an aircraft pilot with laser beams.

The measure is part of the State Airports Bill and it is due to be signed into law by President Michael D Higgins within days of the final stage in the senate.

Conviction under the new legislation may lead to a fine of up to 50,000 euros or a jail term.

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