Pilots to be required to report laser beam incidents

Wednesday, January 12th 2005, 12:08 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta announced in Oklahoma City Wednesday that all pilots will be required to immediately report any incident of lasers aimed at their planes.

Mineta says beginning next Wednesday, pilots must report the incidents to air traffic controllers who will notify law enforcement.

The lasers can temporarily blind pilots and several incidents received wide attention Christmas and New Year's Day.

Mineta says 31 incidents have been reported since New Year's Eve, including one Tuesday night in Phoenix, Arizona.

He says there is no indication the people shining the lasers at planes have terrorist motives, but says it's stupid and dangerous and risks the lives of other people.

Mineta also says officials are working on devices to protect pilots from the lasers, including possible modifications to plane windshields, but no single solution has emerged.