Release #14.13
February 11, 2014

ALPA, FBI, and FAA Launch Laser Threat Awareness Campaign in 12 U.S. Cities

WASHINGTON—Today, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) collaborated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to launch a campaign across 12 U.S. cities to raise public awareness about the consequences of illegal laser attacks on aircraft cockpits. Those cities are: Albuquerque, N.M.; Houston, Tex.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Cleveland, Ohio; Sacramento, Calif.; San Antonio, Tex.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Ill.; and New York, N.Y.

“We applaud the FBI for recognizing how serious this situation is and believe that this campaign will have a positive effect on reducing the laser threat to airline safety by raising public awareness of the serious consequences of illuminating aircraft with lasers,” said ALPA first vice president Capt. Sean Cassidy. “We are calling on industry, government, and the public to take steps to help safeguard the skies against laser strikes. The FBI is offering up to a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of any individual engaged in laser illuminations of aircraft in the United States.”

Reports of aircraft laser illuminations in the United States have increased sharply over the past few years—from 2,836 in 2010 to 3,960 in 2013. ALPA successfully urged lawmakers to make laser illuminations of aircraft a specific federal crime, and it is now punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and up to five years’ imprisonment. In addition to these criminal penalties, the FAA also has the ability to impose civil fines of up to $11,000 per laser incident.

The campaign will raise awareness of aircraft laser-illumination threats via public service announcements, billboards, and press releases. A number of these events will also feature ALPA pilots and law enforcement officials. You can view several publications related to this issue at ALPA’s laser threat awareness campaign website here.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing nearly 50,000 pilots at 31 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440,

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