Laser Pointer Bill Tabled

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It could soon be against the law to point a laser at an airplane. Well, to be clear, it was always against one law or another (interference with a flight crew being the most common one cited) but the rash of laser incidents last year has prompted a Florida congressman to craft a specific bill outlawing the practice. Under Rep. Ric Keller's (R-Fla.) bill, which passed the House Judiciary Committee last week, anyone who "knowingly aims a laser pointer at an aircraft" could face up to five years in jail. Melissa Rudlinger, AOPA's vice president of regulatory affairs, said one or two GA aircraft get lased each month. "Not only is this an annoyance, it also can be a serious safety problem for pilots," she said. There have been a total of 400 laser incidents reported since 1990, more than 100 in the past year. Earlier this year, an airline pilot testified in front of a congressional committee that a laser caused vision problems that prevented him from working for almost a month.