November 13, 2015

"Laser strikes on planes are growing even as the federal government enacts tougher penalties for people caught shining the devices."

USA Today From Wednesday night through Thursday morning, federal authorities fielded reports of 20 laser strikes on aircraft, adding to an already record-breaking number of strikes this year. by Bart Jansen

'The Federal Aviation Administration recorded 5,352 laser strikes through Oct. 16, up from 2,837 for all of 2010. Such strikes can temporarily blind pilots at critical times when they are taking off and landing. People convicted of pointing a laser at a plane can be sentenced to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

'Pilots and airports reported three laser strikes in the New York City area to the Federal Aviation Administration.

'Jet crews landing at Dallas Love Field reported another three. Other airports reporting strikes included Jamestown, N.Y.; Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, Palm Springs and Ontario, Calif.; Covington and Danville, Ky.; Salt Lake City; Albuquerque; Detroit; St. Petersburg, Fla., Springfield, Ill., and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

'"None of the pilots reported injuries," Lynn Lunsford, an FAA spokeswoman, said. "Nevertheless, shining a laser at an aircraft is a federal crime that the U.S. vigorously pursues."

'Some airports have reported more than 100 laser strikes this year: Los Angeles had 197; Phoenix had 183; Houston had 151; Las Vegas had 132, and Dallas-Fort Worth had 115.'

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