'There is a group of locals who regularly enjoy watching landings at the northern part of Dhaka airport'
The government has urged local residents to refrain from shining laser pointers at aircraft during take-off and landing at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, as it may lead to fatal accidents.
The government sent out messages to mobile phone users in this regard on Tuesday.
Dhaka airport Executive Director Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan told Dhaka Tribune: "For a long time, some locals on the north side of the airport have used laser pointers during the landing of the aircraft. It is extremely dangerous if the laser falls on the eyes of a pilot, for it may cause a major accident any time.”
He added that the authorities had been trying to raise awareness among locals for a long time, but they had refused to stop shining the laser pointers.
The authorities also sent police to catch the offenders when they first noticed the laser light, but the culprits escaped. As a result, the authorities decided to go for the short message service (SMS) campaign.
Asking to remain anonymous, a senior pilot of Biman Bangladesh Airlines said every second was important for a pilot in the cockpit during the final approach for landing.
“There is a group of locals who regularly enjoy watching landings at the northern part of Dhaka airport. They often shine laser pointers at the aircraft, especially in the evening,” he added.
“During one incident, the captain of an aircraft was blinded. He had to pull up the aircraft and regain control before coming back to land,” the pilot further said, stressing that they were lucky to avoid a crash.