Recently published statistics shed light on the increasing incidence of laser strikes on aircraft in the U.S. According to the FAA, reports of lasers striking civilian aircraft in the U.S. have nearly tripled between 2010 and 2015, rising to a rate of more than 21 per day in 2015.

Despite ramped-up efforts to identify and arrest offenders, very few successful prosecutions have taken place to date.


laser pointer strikePublic education is the best tool to raise awareness about the dangers of pointing a laser at an aircraft. For tools to help educate the community, visit the FAA’s Laser Safety Initiative page at, which also features materials you can provide to local law enforcement that can be helpful in raising awareness and providing guidance regarding the law and how to handle offenders.

Aviation programs are reminded to immediately notify the closest tower of any laser strike, and to complete the FAA’s laser strike report form at the completion of the flight. Forms are available at The site also has a mobile-friendly report form and information about how to report a strike to towers.

FAA-Reported Laser Strikes by year:

  • 2010: 2,837
  • 2011: 3,591
  • 2012: 3,482
  • 2013: 3,960
  • 2014: 3,894
  • 2015: 7,703
  • Jan.1-Feb.13, 2016: 971

Source: FAA

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