Air Federal agencies

FBI: Aiming lasers at aircraft can land you in jail

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Washington – Point a laser at an aircraft and you could end up in jail for up to five years, receive a federal fine of up to $250,000, or both, according to the FBI.

A 12-city campaign launched Feb. 11 by the FBI, Federal Aviation Administration and Air Line Pilots Association, International, includes radio public service announcements and billboard displays warning against aiming lasers at aircraft, which can temporarily blind pilots and cause serious eye injuries. Each campaign city’s local FBI office is offering up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

According to data from the FBI and FAA, reported laser strikes increased to 3,960 in 2013 from 2,836 in 2010, and the agencies estimate that thousands of incidents are going unreported. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act (H.R. 658) also allows FAA to impose a civil fine of up to $11,000 per incident.

The campaign cities have some of the highest rates of reported laser strikes.