FBI Reports Increase in Lasers Pointed at Aircraft in New York
Incidents of lasers targeting aircraft and pilots are increasing in frequency in the New York area.
Reports of lasers being pointed at aircraft are up 17% percent from last year, the bureau said. Injuries involving the laser occurrences are also on the rise, the FBI said; lasers can temporarily or permanently blind a pilot and crew.
The most recent incidents happened last week Tuesday, the FBI said.
The first involved a Shuttle America flight that was on final approach to LaGuardia Airport when a green laser illuminated the cockpit. The second was later that evening when a private aircraft reported a green laser two miles south of LaGuardia, said CNN. No injuries were reported in either instance, but earlier this year several commercial pilots suffered significant injuries, including a burnt retina, because of lasers, CNN said.
The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force is leading the investigation.
The FBI is offering a reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of anyone involved in lasers targeting aircraft.
A law signed last year makes it a federal crime to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft.