FAA: Keep Laser Decorations Away From Airports

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It’s now an annual tradition — the FAA reaches out to holiday decorators, especially those who live near airports, asking them to consider pilots when installing laser lights outside. Some of the light shows, which have grown in popularity the last few years, can project their lasers for hundreds of feet or more. “People who buy these new light displays should take precautions to make sure that the lights are hitting their houses and not shining off into the sky,” said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor. “If we become aware of a situation where a laser light display affected pilots, we would start by asking the person to either adjust them or turn them off.”

Some manufacturers of the displays advise customers to be sure the lights are hitting their houses and not the sky, especially if their house is within 10 nautical miles of an airport. Anyone convicted of intentionally pointing lasers at airplanes could be fined and spend up to five years in jail. Pilots who encounter a laser light in flight can report it to the FAA via a short questionnaire available on a phone or laptop.

Comments (2)

If the lights don't bother drivers on the road who are within 30' of them then the FAA needs to BACK OFF. Seriously, if it does not impact neighbors, joggers, or people on the roads then it's not going to hurt pilots who are at last 2 orders of magnitude farther away. This is getting ridiculous and I can see WHY residents might be asking to close local airports so they don't have to risk jail time because of their Christmas lights.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | December 8, 2017 3:02 PM    Report this comment

I wonder to what degree the power of such lights is actually hazardous or just slightly annoying.
Two years ago I was flying in low towards Newark NJ in the evening, over homes shortly before Christmas. Just as a Q400 passenger though. There seemed to be a lot of weird bright sparkles and flashes from the ground. I figured it must have been those home laser displays. A little disconcerting as nobody wants lasers shining directly into their eyes, even if not sure about their power...

Posted by: Peter Chapman | December 10, 2017 9:46 PM    Report this comment

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