$11,000 fine for pointing a laser at a plane


Want an easy way to get a bill for $11,000? Well shine a laser at an airplane daring one. According to the FAA, some 1,100 laser pointing incidents were recorded this year so far and a total of 2,836 last year. The FAA, and pilots agree that lasers may temporarily blind or affect a pilots ability to land an aircraft. They want to place someone who points a laser at an airplane in the same category in which someone would “assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crew member in the performance of the crewmember’s duties aboard an aircraft being operated.” The laser pointing would then be considered a civil penalty and offenders would face fines up to $11,000. Previously this rule only applied to someone on board the aircraft.

In 2010, Los Angeles International Airport recorded the highest number of laser events in the country for an individual airport with 102 reports, and the greater Los Angeles area tallied nearly twice that number, with 201 reports. Chicago O’Hare International Airport was a close second, with 98 reports, and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport tied for the third highest number of laser events for the year with 80 each.

So far this year, the Phoenix and Dallas-Fort Worth areas each have recorded more than 45 laser events. The Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Houston areas each have recorded more than 30 laser events.

The FAA believes that the increase in reports comes after an increased awareness and outreach towards pilots to report these issues. Some states have even made it illegal to shine lasers at aircraft and offenders can face Federal charges.

Found via: Arstechnica

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