June 3, 2014
Laser Threat Awareness Campaign Expands
Test program proves successful at reducing laser attacks on aircraft
WASHINGTON—Today, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) collaborated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to expand its campaign raising public awareness about the consequences of illegal laser attacks on aircraft to include all 50 states.
The FBI, along with ALPA, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), launched the campaign at 12 FBI field offices earlier this year and is broadening the initiative based on results that have reduced the overall number of laser strikes on aircraft. The test program raised public awareness about the dangers of illegal laser illuminations of aircraft through a series of public service announcements, billboards, and media outreach, resulting in a 19 percent decrease in the number of reported incidents in the major metropolitan areas of the 12 field offices. A key component of the campaign is a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of any individual who aims a laser at an aircraft—the reward will now be available nationwide.
“The increased availability of hand-held lasers in recent years has led to a 1,100 percent rise in reported laser attacks on aircraft since 2005,” said ALPA first vice president Capt. Sean Cassidy. “The initial phase resulted in an immediate decrease in the number of reported incidents, which is a clear example of the campaign’s effectiveness. We look forward to once again working with the FBI to reinforce the fact that aiming a laser at an aircraft is not a harmless prank.”
This phase of the campaign will run through early September and will involve state and local law enforcement support in all 50 states as well as Guam and Puerto Rico.
Several publications related to this issue are available on ALPA’s laser threat awareness campaign website.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 51,000 pilots at 32 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703/481-4440 or Media@alpa.org
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