A British father and his 15-year-old son face heavy fines after allegedly shining laser pens at pilots as they tried to land in Malaga, Spain.

Air traffic controllers say the dangerous stunt could have led to disrupted flights or even an air accident.

Detectives say the two Britons were found carrying a laser pen each when they were discovered by police at a hotel in Torremolinos, a popular beach resort town on the Costa del Sol.

They had allegedly been spotted by an off-duty policeman, who happened to be staying at the same hotel when the incident happened last Tuesday night (1 August).

The pair were seen shining the green laser pointers towards planes as they approached the local airport to land, police in Malaga said.

While the off-duty officer notified local law enforcement, several pilots reportedly contacted the airport control tower to say they had been dazzled by green lasers coming from the hotel.

The 41-year-old suspect and his son, who have not been named, have been accused of violating Spanish law and could face a fine between €30,001 and €600,000, Spanish daily newspaper ABC reported.

Shining laser pens at airplanes can temporarily blind pilots and prevent them from accurately reading instruments as the light bounces around the cockpit, air safety experts have warned.

This is especially dangerous during times pilots carry out complex manoeuvres like landing.

"People do it as a game but are not aware of the disturbance it causes," Raúl Delgado, a spokesman for the Union of Air Traffic Controllers in Malaga, told local media.

It comes after several similar incidents in the UK led to calls for tougher sentences for those responsible.

There were more than 1,250 reported incidents of laser pointers being shone at aircraft in the UK last year, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

In February, the Department for Transport said it would crack down on the dangerous craze by bringing a change in the law to allow for tougher penalties and easier convictions.

But the proposals failed to pass through Parliament when the June election suspended proceedings in the House of Commons. It is not yet known if the measures will be re-introduced.