Aiming a laser at an aircraft is a federal offence. It can distract or temporarily blind a pilot, or create a glare that affects a pilot's vision.
Transport Canada has safety measures in place to protect Canadians from laser attacks on aircraft. Refer to the Transport Canada website for updated information about laser safety measures and the dangers of aiming a laser at an aircraft.
Laser activity at YWG
Nearly 400 laser strikes on aircraft were reported in Canada in 2017. At Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, 17 laser strikes were reported between Jan. 1, 2016 and Feb. 1, 2020. The number of laser strikes is reducing year after year.
Winnipeg Airports Authority tracks information on the frequency and location of laser strikes. This information is shared with the Winnipeg Police Service. We're vigilant in promoting a safer environment for the travelling public and aviation personnel.
Penalties for pointing a laser at an aircraft
If you're caught intentionally shining a laser at an aircraft, you'll be charged under the Aeronautics Act and could face:
- up to $100,000 in fines
- up to 5 years in prison
Report laser strikes on aircraft
If you see someone pointing a laser at an aircraft or into airspace, report it to the local police immediately.
Get permission to use lasers for astronomy and light shows
If you plan on aiming a laser into navigable airspace for the purpose of astronomy or laser light shows, you must get permission from Transport Canada.