WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The Federal Aviation Administration issued a warning Thursday that holiday laser-light displays aimed at houses become potentially dangerous when aimed into the sky.
The agency receives reports each year from pilots who are distracted or temporarily blinded by residential laser-light displays.
This creates a serious safety risk to pilots and their passengers flying overhead, the FAA said.
The extremely concentrated beams of laser lights reach much farther than might be realized.
People with laser-light displays that affect pilots will be asked to adjust them or turn them off.
A refusal to do so could lead to a civil penalty.
But it doesn’t just happen at holiday time.
In Texas from January 1 to November 23 of this year there have been 544 reported incidents, with at least 91 in North Texas.
There were 59 in Dallas, 15 in Fort Worth, seven in McKinney and five each in Arlington and Addison.
The warning comes as laser strikes against aircraft continue to increase. From January 1 to November 23 this year the FAA recorded 5,486 laser incidents across the country, up from the 4,949 incidents recorded during the same period last year.
Intentionally aiming a laser at an aircraft is a serious safety risk and violates federal law, the FAA said.
The agency may impose civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation.
Civil penalties of up to $30,800 have been imposed by the FAA against individuals for multiple laser incidents.