PLEASE BE A DIM BULB NEAR THE AIRPORT: Pilot landing at Svalbard Airport blinded by bright car lights, officials say


People driving within the vicinity of Svalbard Airport are being asked by officials to not have their bright headlines on after a pilot reported being blinded by them while landing Sunday.

“We had a case on Sunday where the plane that came in for landing was dazzled by bright lights on a car that was on its way out towards Bjørndalen,” Police Chief Lt. Håkon Toresen said in a prepared statement Monday. “The (driver) in question did not do anything criminal and it was all unintentional, but we still encourage people who drive with bright lights to dim them when they drive in the area around the airport.”

Among the problems for pilots is they can lose their night vision and orientation, said Kenneth Landsem, the airport’s assistant operations manager.

“This is very unfortunate and can, in the worst case, have catastrophic consequences,” he said.