ALPA, FBI Launch Anti-Laser Campaign
Reports of lasers pointed at aircraft in flight have increased from 2,836 in 2010 to 3,960 in 2013 -- that's almost 11 incidents per day -- and this week the FBI and the Air Line Pilots Association joined with the FAA to announce a new "threat awareness campaign." The effort will target 12 cities with public service announcements, billboards, press releases and events featuring ALPA pilots and law enforcement officials. They aim to spread the word that laser attacks on aircraft are a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. "We applaud the FBI for recognizing how serious this situation is," said ALPA First Vice President Capt. Sean Cassidy.
The 12 cities are: Albuquerque, N.M.; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, Calif.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Cleveland, Ohio; Sacramento, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Ill.; and New York, N.Y. The campaign will run for 60 days. A key part of the program is reward money, says the FBI: The bureau will offer up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of any individual who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft.