03 June 2011

BBC interview on new laser penalties

On 1 June 2011 the FAA announced that it will now use a rule originally used against someone on board the aircraft who interfered with a flight crew, and apply it to people on the ground who deliberately point lasers at aircraft. With this change, someone who points a laser at an aircraft can be fined up to $11,000.

The program The World Today from the BBC interviewed Dr. Curtis about some the issues associated with pointing lasers at pilots (5:02).

While this threat to aircraft has not resulted in a crash of a military aircraft, airliner, or private aircraft, flashing a laser at an aircraft could compromise aviation safety by distracting or incapacitating pilots during critical phases of flight. For more on this issue, including links to FAA studies on the effects of lasers on pilots, check out the AirSafeNews.com article on the FAA's new laser rules.