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Tue, Dec 05, 2017

FAA Urges Caution With Laser Christmas Lights

Devices Can Dazzle Pilots If Aimed At The Sky

The FAA is cautioning consumers who purchase lasers to light up their homes this Christmas that they need to be sure they're not pointed at the sky, particularly if they live near an airport.

The laser light displays have become increasingly popular as the prices have come down and they have become readily available to the public. But they can also project bright beams to altitudes in excess of 300 feet, according to a report from the San Francisco Gate newspaper, which can cause problems for pilots if they are pointed skyward.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told the paper that homeowners who want to light their homes with lasers "should take precautions to make sure that the lights are hitting their houses and not shining off into the sky. If we become aware of a situation where a laser light display affected pilots, we would start by asking the person to either adjust them or turn them off.”

Star Shower, one of the companies which manufactures the laser light displays, warns customers that the devices should not be pointed skyward if the buyer lives within 10 nautical miles of an airport.

Gregor said that none of the 4,380 laser incidents reported so far in 2017 have involved holiday lights, but those statistics do not include December. Laser pointers are still the primary concern for the FAA as a danger to pilots and passengers aboard aircraft.

(FAA image from file does not depict laser from a holiday light display)

FMI: Original Report

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