FBI Buckles Down on Pointing Lasers at Aircrafts

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Federal Bureau of Investigation in Cleveland has teamed up with 11 other field offices to deter people from pointing lasers at airplanes.

According to the FBI, the Federal Aviation Administration has been tracking laser strikes since 2005, and the numbers have been on the rise.

For the next 60 days, the FBI will be offering a reward up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone who points a laser at an airplane.

“Pilots can have blindness for a little while, it can disorient them, it can cause problems with them being able to their own lighting instruments in the cockpit,” said Special Agent Vicki Anderson. “It causes a lot of issues for pilots.”

The FBI will also work with local police to educate teenagers about the dangers and potential punishments associated with pointing a laser at an aircraft. It is a violation of federal law and violators could face fines in the thousands and prison time.

According to a release from the FBI, “there were a total of 3,960 laser strikes reported [in 2013] – an average of almost 11 incidents per day. At Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, 23 laser strikes were reported in 2012 and 24 laser strikes in 2013.”

“We applaud our colleagues at the Justice Department for aggressively prosecuting aircraft laser incidents and we will continue to use civil penalties to further deter this dangerous activity,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

If you have information about an incident, or see someone pointing a laser at an aircraft, contact the Cleveland FBI office at 216-522-1400, email Cleveland.cv@ic.fbi.gov, or dial 911.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.