Release #11.03
February 4, 2011

Pilots Laud Senate Measure to End Laser Attacks on Aircraft
Making Attacks a Federal Crime Part of ALPA Action Plan

WASHINGTON–Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement after a vote by the U.S. Senate to pass an amendment that would make shining a laser at an aircraft a federal crime. On February 1, Capt. Moak sent a letter to the members of the Senate expressing airline pilots’ strong support for the goal of the amendment.

“The action by the U.S. Senate to make shining a laser at an aircraft a federal crime marks major progress in safeguarding our skies against a threat that endangers all who depend on air transportation.

“The pilots of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, commend the U.S. Senate and particularly Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for championing this amendment.

“The Senate’s bipartisan effort, which is complemented by a parallel aviation safety initiative in the U.S. House, will fulfill a critical element of the regulatory, legislative, and public awareness action plan put forth by ALPA to end deliberate laser illumination of aircraft.

“ALPA’s nearly 53,000 airline pilots look forward to the Senate’s passage of the legislation containing this amendment to criminalize laser attacks on aircraft. In addition, ALPA urges the U.S. House to swiftly pass the Securing Aircraft Cockpits Against Lasers Act of 2011 (H.R. 386), its version of a bill to protect passengers and crews from the dramatic threat that laser strikes against aircraft pose.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing nearly 53,000 pilots at 38 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at


CONTACT: Linda Shotwell, 703/481-4440 or