Airline

FAA to Impose Civil Penalties for Pointing Lasers into Cockpits

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Randy Babbitt announced today that the FAA will begin to impose civil penalties against people who point a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft.

“Our top priority is protecting the safety of the traveling public. We will not hesitate to take tough action against anyone who threatens the safety of our passengers, pilots and air transportation system,” said Secretary LaHood.

“Shining a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft is not a joke. These lasers can temporarily blind a pilot and make it impossible to safely land the aircraft, jeopardizing the safety of the passengers and people on the ground,” said FAA Administrator Babbitt.

The FAA released a legal interpretation, which finds that directing a laser beam into an aircraft cockpit could interfere with a flight crew performing its duties while operating an aircraft, a violation of Federal Aviation Regulations. In the past, the FAA has taken enforcement action under this regulation against passengers physically on-board an aircraft who interfere with crewmembers.

Today’s interpretation reflects the fact that pointing a laser at an aircraft from the ground could seriously impair a pilot’s vision and interfere with the flight crew’s ability to safely handle its responsibilities.

The maximum civil penalty the FAA can impose on an individual for violating the FAA’s regulations that prohibit interfering with a flight crew is $11,000 per violation.

This year, pilots have reported more than 1,100 incidents nationwide of lasers being pointed at aircraft. Laser event reports have steadily increased since the FAA created a formal reporting system in 2005 to collect information from pilots. Reports rose from nearly 300 in 2005 to 1,527 in 2009 and 2,836 in 2010.

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 increase in reports is likely due to a number of factors, including greater awareness and outreach to pilots to encourage reporting; the availability of inexpensive laser devices on the Internet; stronger power levels that enable lasers to hit aircraft at higher altitudes; and the introduction of green lasers, which are more easily seen than red lasers.

Some cities and states have laws making it illegal to shine lasers at aircraft and, in many cases, people can face federal charges. The FAA is prepared to work with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to assist with criminal prosecutions arising under those laws.

Legislation that would criminalize purposefully aiming a laser device at an aircraft is currently pending in Congress. The Senate included this language in the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act, which it passed on Feb. 17, 2011. On Feb. 28, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would enact a similar penalty for shining lasers at aircraft. Both bills are awaiting further action.

More Airline
Big jump in international passengers for Saudi Airlines
flydubai will fly to Tashkent from 11 March 2019
New Istanbul airport starts operations
Latest Travel News
Kazakhstan's new tourist attraction - fa...
Summer in Turkey...
Taif Season attracts more than 750,000 v...
Featured Sights To See
Reliant Astrodome

Reliant Astrodome

Houston, United States

Reliant Astrodome, known simply as the Astrodome, is fondly called 'the eighth wonder of the world', and has been home to The Astros, a Major League baseball team.  Designed by engineer Jack Boyd Buckley, it is a multi-purpose stadium designed for both baseball and football.  It is most known for the artificial grass used called Astroturf.   Website: www.reliantpark.com/relianta...

Southern Encounter Aquarium & Kiwi House

Southern Encounter Aquarium & Kiwi House

Christchurch, New Zealand

Formerly known as the Aquarium of Discovery, the Southern Encounter Aquarium is a walk through of tanks of aquarium with rare fishes and sea creatures. Documentaries and films are aired for viewers to educate them about sea and bird life. The attraction offers various things to do including watching feeding time at the aquarium, see fly-tying demonstrations, getting your hands wet in touch tank an...

Lama Temple

Lama Temple

Beijing, China

This temple dates back to the 1690s. Traditionally it belonged to the next Yongzheng Emperor but after the seat of the empire was shifted to the Forbidden City in the 1740s this building was converted into a temple. They are some magnificent incense burners located here in addition to statues of some significant protagonists of Tibetan Buddhism. The most beautiful amongst these is the statue of Ma...

Rey Bazaar

Rey Bazaar

Tehran, Iran

a smaller version of the one in downtown Tehran, it is about 500 years old and traditionally sold spices, herbs and commercial goods as part of the silk road.  ...