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 displayaffected 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.