Laser Incident Website Created
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2011 — To combat the growing problem of lasers directed at aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched a website to make it easier for pilots and the public to report such incidents and obtain information on the subject.
The website, www.faa.gov/go/laserinfo, includes links for reporting laser incidents, and access to press releases, laser statistics, downloadable videos and research on the dangers of lasers to pilots.
“Safety of the traveling public is our absolute number-one priority. We will do everything we can to get the word out about how dangerous it is to point a laser at an aircraft. These incidents must stop,” US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said.
“Lasers can distract or temporarily blind pilots who are trying to fly safely to their destinations and could compromise the safety of hundreds of passengers,” FAA administrator Randy Babbitt said.
Laser event reports have increased steadily since the FAA created a formal reporting system in 2005 to collect information from pilots. This year, pilots reported 2795 laser events through Oct. 20.
In June 2011, the FAA announced it would start imposing civil penalties of up to $11,000 against people who interfere with a flight crew by pointing a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft (See: Shining Laser into Cockpit Could Cost You Big). The agency is currently working on 18 civil cases.
People have been charged under local, state and federal criminal statutes for pointing lasers at aircraft over the past few years, and legislation is pending that would make it a specific federal crime (See: House Criminalizes Laser Pointing at Aircraft).
The increase in annual laser reports probably is due to a number of factors, including the availability of inexpensive laser devices on the Internet; increased power levels that enable lasers to reach aircraft at higher altitudes; more pilot reporting of laser strikes; and the introduction of green and blue lasers, which are more easily seen than red lasers.
For more information, visit: www.faa.gov
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