Laser strikes are on the rise and impacting commercial aviation globally. MTI has put together some quick facts to show the global impact of laser strikes and where and when they are occurring.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- The top five US cities affected by laser strikes in 2014 were Houston, Los Angeles, San Juan, Phoenix, and Las Vegas according to the FAA.
- The average time for laser strike occurrences in the United States is 1:00 AM to 5:00 AM according to the FAA.
- FAA data from 2014 shows that most laser strikes occur during the approach phase of a plane’s descent.
- The number of FAA-reported laser incidents nearly doubled in 2015 to 7,703
- According to laserpointersafety.com, from January 1 through May 28 2016, pilots filed 2,925 reports of laser illuminations with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. This is a 33% increase over the 2,194 reports filed during the same period in 2015.
- Transport Canada’s CANDORS report shows that laser strikes in commercial aviation have been climbing since 2000.
- According to Transport Canada, 96% of recorded laser strikes are green.
- According to Transport Canada, the majority of laser strikes in commercial aviation occur from 12:00 AM to 5:00 AM.
- In 2015, the top five Canadian cities affected by laser strikes in commercial aviation were Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, St. Hubert, and Ottawa.
- In 2016, there were over 500 reported incidents.
United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA)
- According to the UK CAA, there were 1442 aviation laser strikes in the United Kingdom in 2014 and 1258 in 2016.
- The UK airports that experienced the most laser strikes in 2016 were Heathrow Airport, Glascow Airport, Birmingham Airport, Manchester International Airport, and London City Airport.
- According to the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), 55% of pilots say they have experience a laser attack in 2015.
Other Laser Statistics
- According to www.laserpointersafety.com, green lasers are the most sensitive to the human eye.
- The average cost of a 300 milliwatt (mW) laser has decreased by 30 times over the past ten years.
- Ten years ago, a 300 mW (1mW is equivalent to 1/1000 watts) was only afforded by researchers or for industrial purposes. Today, 300mW green lasers are readily available online for as little as $20 USD.
- Handheld lasers have become 45 times more powerful over the past 10 years.
- According to a www.laserpointersafety.com report, about 53% of aircraft endangerment arrests were for people aged 20 to 29.Aviation endangerment perpetrators often do not realize the dangers associated with their offence at the time of the incident. Many claim that they did not realize that a laser pointer could even reach an aircraft.