New State Law Bans Lasers Aimed at Cockpits

Aiming lasers at planes now a misdemeanor charge

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Chicago's O'Hare International Airport ranks second in the country in terms of the number of laser events reported by the FAA in 2010. (Published Friday, Mar 18, 2011)

    Safety concerns have led Illinois officials to make it illegal to aim a laser at an airplane's cockpit.

    The flash of a laser pointer or laser sight can interfere with a pilot's vision. A moment of blindness at the wrong time during landing or takeoff could lead to tragedy.

    Nationally, pilots reported more than 2,800 incidents with lasers last year — nearly double the number from 2009.

    Aiming lasers at a plane in Illinois will now be a misdemeanor, which means up to a year in jail. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the new ban into law on Thursday.