According to the laser safety website LaserPointerSafety.com, there were more than 7,700 laser incidents reported by pilots to the Federal Aviation Administration last year. This activity can temporarily blind a pilot, endangering both pilot and passengers.
Airport authority officers can be constrained in investigating this crime because they don’t have jurisdiction beyond their geographic boundaries. I recently backed a bill to allow public airport authority officers to exercise their authority outside of the boundary area under certain circumstances, such as the public endangerment of an airplane during take-off or landing routines. The officer must immediately pursue the individual breaking the law.
Aiming a laser at an aircraft is just plain dangerous. It’s a federal crime and one that should be actively pursued.
House Bill 5181 will head to the governor for consideration.