A person will commit an offence if a laser beam is directed towards an air traffic facility, or towards a person providing air traffic services.

The amendment also bars the use of laser beams if it dazzles or distracts, or is likely to dazzle or distract, a person providing air traffic services.

Violations will attract 12 months of imprisonment or monetary penalty, or both.

AOA chief executive Karen Dee said: “In the past five years, we have seen 13 incidents of lasers being shone at air traffic control towers at airports across the UK.

“While small in number, these incidents could have serious consequences.

“These amendments show that working with NATS, the AOA has persuaded the government to recognise the vitally important role air traffic controllers play in ensuring aviation safety.”