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According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), intentionally pointing a laser light display at the sky can not only harm pilots, but is also considered a federal crime.

Amid the holiday season, the agency is urging anyone installing laser-light displays to make sure their creations are aimed toward their home, not the sky, so that those pilots’ those who have reported being distracted and even temporarily blind. incidents every year, the FAA said.


“The extremely focused beams of laser light reach farther than you can realize,” the FAA said. “You may not realize it, but a well-meaning attempt to spread holiday cheer has the potential to pose a serious safety risk to pilots and passengers on airplanes that fly overhead.”

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According to the FAA, some high-powered lasers can “completely disable pilots who are trying to fly safely to their destinations.”

Anyone aiming their laser lights at the sky will be warned to adjust or rotate them. According to the FAA, if they don’t oblige, they could face civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation.

In a video posted on FAA’s youtube channel, The agency says people could also face up to five years in prison.

The government agency works with law enforcement agencies “to pursue civil and criminal penalties against individuals who intentionally aim a laser at an aircraft.”

In previous cases, the FAA has imposed more than $30,000 in civil penalties against individuals accused of multiple laser incidents.

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The FAA says laser strikes against aircraft are increasing every year.

As of November 22, there have been more than 8,500 laser strike reports this year alone, marking the highest number of laser strike incidents since the FAA began tracking these statistics a decade ago.