The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has received 9,723 reports of dangerous laser strikes from pilots in 2021, a 41% increase from the figure recorded in 2020. 

Since the FAA started recording data on laser strikes in 2010, there have been 244 injuries reported by pilots. Many types of high-powered lasers can incapacitate pilots and those who shine lasers at aircraft can face criminal penalties from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Perpetrators face FAA fines of up to $11,000 per violation and up to $30,800 for multiple laser incidents. The FAA issued a total of $120,000 in fines for laser strikes in 2021. 

Due to the alarming rise in reported incidents, the FAA has released a video showing the effects of laser strikes on flights.

Using the hashtag #LosetheLaser, the FAA has also reminded the public that shining lasers at aircraft is not only a threat to safety, it’s a federal offense .

“The FAA continues to educate the public about the hazards of laser strikes because they pose such a serious threat to the safety of the pilot, the passengers and everyone in the vicinity of the aircraft,” FAA administrator, Steve Dickson said in a statement. 

Members of the public are encouraged to report laser strike incidents via the FAA website and to also inform local law enforcement agencies.