Lasers Aimed at Aircraft Cockpits: Background and Possible Options to Address the Threat to Aviation Safety and Security [Updated December 21, 2005] [open pdf - 42KB]
From the Document: "Incidents involving lasers aimed at aircraft cockpits has raised concerns over the potential threat to aviation safety and security. While none of these events has been linked to terrorism, security officials have expressed concern that terrorists may seek to acquire and use higher powered lasers to, among other things, incapacitate pilots. There is also concern among aviation safety experts that the ubiquity and low cost of handheld laser devices could increase the number of incidents where pilots are distracted or temporarily incapacitated during critical phases of flight. Possible options to mitigate the threat of lasers include restricting the sale or use of certain laser devices; amending criminal statutes; providing pilots with laser eye protection; expanding and enforcing laser free zones around airports; and educating the public regarding the risks of lasers to aviation safety. On December 12, 2005, the House passed H.R. 1400, a bill that would establish criminal penalties for aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft or its flight path."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22033