FAA Issues Laser Holiday Lights Reminder

"If you’re going to install a holiday laser-light system, please make sure the lights are hitting your house and not shining up into the sky. It may not look like the lights go much farther than your house, but the extremely concentrated beams of laser lights actually reach much further than most people think," FAA says.

Noting that during each holiday season for the past several years, it has received reports from pilots who said they were distracted or temporarily blinded by residential laser-light displays, the Federal Aviation Administration has posted a reminder that holiday light displays that include lasers can add to the problem.

"The FAA's concerns about lasers – regardless of the source – is that they not be aimed at aircraft in a way that can threaten the safety of a flight by distracting or blinding the pilots. People may not realize that systems they set up to spread holiday cheer can also pose a potential hazard to pilots flying overhead," it says. "So if you’re going to install a holiday laser-light system, please make sure the lights are hitting your house and not shining up into the sky. It may not look like the lights go much farther than your house, but the extremely concentrated beams of laser lights actually reach much further than most people think."

The reminder says if FAA becomes aware of a situation where a laser-light display affects pilots, "we start by asking the owner to adjust them or turn them off. However, if someone's laser-light display repeatedly affects pilots despite previous warnings, that person could face an FAA civil penalty."

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