EADS and DRS Technologies have agreed to collaborate on production and marketing of the Hellas laser-based obstacle warning system in the U.S. Hellas is said to offer “unprecedented protection” for helicopters against difficult-to-detect obstacles such as power lines.
The FAA and general aviation organizations have stepped up efforts to inform pilots flying in the airspace around the Washington and Baltimore areas about a new laser light system the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) is using to warn unauthorized aircraft they have violated the national capital region air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and/or the smaller flight restricted zone (FRZ) within it.
The Senate at press time was considering a bill that imposes a $250,000 fine and a possible prison term of up to five years for people who point lasers at aircraft. The legislation is an outgrowth of a number of recent incidents. Laser beams can temporarily blind pilots and, in some reported cases, cause permanent eye damage. The bill passed in the House last month.
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