Laser strikes, laser attacks, or laser illuminations on commercial aircraft are causing global concern as laser pointers continue to increase in strength and decrease in price. Here are some facts about why laser pointers can be potentially dangerous for pilots that are attempting to land or depart an airport:
Lasers are not a new concept, however, as technology improves, lasers are becoming stronger and more dangerous to the human eye. These seemingly harmless devices have always been a cause for concern for eyesight, but over the past five years, laser eye protection has become more pertinent than ever.
Laser strikes are on the rise and impacting commercial aviation globally. MTI has put together some quick facts to show the global impact of laser strikes and where and when they are occurring.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- The top five US cities affected by laser strikes in 2014 were Houston, Los Angeles, San Juan, Phoenix, and Las Vegas according to the FAA.
- The average time for laser strike occurrences in the United States is 1:00 AM to 5:00 AM according to the FAA.
- FAA data from 2014 shows that most laser strikes occur during the approach phase of a plane’s descent.