Acting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Billy Nolen recently sent a letter to laser manufacturers requesting a warning label be added to packaging,
The purpose of the label is to ensure consumers are aware of federal laws and penalties as well as the safety risks associated with pointing lasers at aircraft.
High-powered laser pointers are capable of incapacitating pilots. Since 2010, 278 pilots have reported an injury from a laser strike to the FAA.
Anyone who shines a laser at aircraft faces fines of up to $11,000 per violation or up to $30,800 for multiple incidents.
In 2021, the FAA issued $120,000 in fines. In 2022, pilots reported 9,500 laser strikes to the FAA.
“Lasers may seem like just a toy, office tool, or game for most, but they can incapacitate pilots putting thousands of passengers at risk every year,” Nolen said in the request. “We need your help to combat this serious issue. The FAA requests that you add a warning label to your packaging to make consumers aware of the safety risks and federal laws when using lasers.”
The FAA requests that any manufacturer that already places a warning on its packaging, increase the size of the warning.
Manufacturers also were asked to watch a video about the dangers of lasers on the FAA’s website.