Illinois and Indiana have been ranked as two of the worst states in the U.S. for laser point attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration said, revealing such attacks against aircraft are increasing across the country.
According to the FAA, it has received 6,723 laser strike reports from pilots this year as of September 30, which is close to the 6,852 total reports for 2020.
“There have been situations where pilots have been completely disoriented as if somebody had flashed a camera right in front of them,” said aviation security analyst Rob Mark.
The FAA data includes 263 incidents reported in Illinois this year along with 306 in Indiana. Out of all states, Indiana and Illinois rank number five and seven respectively.
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“We do have a large airplane population here, as does Florida, Texas, California, but for some reason people still think this is just, ’oh, it’s no big deal’ and that’s only because we haven’t had a major calamity yet,” said Mark.
The FAA said people who shine lasers at aircraft face FAA fines of up to $11,000 per violation and up to $30,800 for multiple laser incidents.
The FAA said it needs everyone’s help in reporting laser incidents, encouraging people to submit tips online.
Meanwhile, a team at Lewis University in Romeoville said it has proposed adding liquid crystal technology to aircraft windshields as a way to deflect lasers.