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Holiday laser light displays causing issues for pilots - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Holiday laser light displays causing issues for pilots

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COLORADO -

Are your holiday light displays causing issues for pilots? This probably isn't a question people normally ask themselves, but it's a concern of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

When setting up light displays, some people are using devices that refract laser lights to display different holiday designs onto houses. But according to the FAA, some people are angling their laser light displays too high, causing issues for pilots.

The FAA is implementing a Laser Safety Initiative, which says aiming a laser at an aircraft is a serious risk and violates federal law. The FAA says, high-powered lasers can completely incapacitate pilots who are trying to fly safely, sometimes carrying hundreds of passengers.

The FAA is working with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to pursue civil and criminal penalties against people who purposely do this. 

The Sheriff's departments refer their laser pointer and Christmas display calls to the FBI, as they investigate these incidents. The FBI couldn't put a number on how many incidents have happened in Colorado, but there have been some reported in the state. 

Centennial Pilot Nate Duehr told our partner station 9News in Denver, that lasers can be one of the most dangerous hazards pilots face, aside from weather related elements.

A conviction proving malicious intent can carry a sentence of up to five years in prison and/or up to $250,000 fine. 

For more information on laser safety visit the FAA's website

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