House Passes ALPA-Endorsed Laser Legislation
On July 27, the U.S. House
of Representatives unanimously passed the
Securing Aircraft Cockpits Against Lasers Act of 2010 (H.R. 5810). Sponsored
by Rep. Daniel Lungren (R-CA), H.R. 5810 would amend Title 18 of the United
States Code to establish “criminal penalties for knowingly aiming a laser
pointer at an aircraft or its flight path,” ranging from a fine to up to five
years in prison.
Since the widely reported Teterboro, N.J., lasing incident in late 2004
resulted in the first federal criminal prosecution of laser pointing under the
USA PATRIOT Act, ALPA has increasingly called for federal legislation to address
the rapidly growing laser-illumination threat to aviation.
The ALPA National Security Committee (NSC) has led ALPA’s efforts in
coordination with the FBI, the TSA Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), the
Airport Law Enforcement Agencies Network (ALEAN), and numerous state, local, and
airport law enforcement organizations, including the National Joint Terrorism
Task Force (NJTTF).
On July 27, ALPA president Capt. John Prater sent a
letter supporting the legislation to Rep. Lungren. The congressman quoted
extensively from the ALPA letter during his
remarks on the floor of the House, summarizing ALPA’s support: “We urge
Congress to expeditiously pass this legislation and thereby enhance the safety
and security of all commercial airline passengers and crewmembers.”
ALPA recognizes that pointing lasers at aircraft is a serious threat to
aviation safety and security, and will continue to support legislative action,
including a Senate companion to this measure, until this legislation is signed
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