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US: 2019 laser incidents up almost 10% compared to 2018

In 2019, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration received 6,213 reports from pilots of lasers being visible or illuminating their aircraft. While this is 16% fewer than the peak total of 7,398 reports in 2016, the 2019 total is up 9.7% from the 5,663 reports received in 2018.



During 2019 there were 17 laser incidents reported each night in the U.S., on average.

This brings the 15-year total to 54,860 incidents since 2004 when FAA first started requiring pilots to report laser sightings or illuminations.

The majority of reports continue to involve green lasers (87.2% of 2019 reports). However, reports of blue lasers have risen steadily, from 2.9% in 2016 to 8.2% in 2019.

Holiday lights do not seem to be a significant problem. In 2019 there were only 11 reports (out of 6,213) involving Christmas or holiday laser light projections.

The number of incidents with reported eye effects or claimed injuries was 31 in 2019, a significant increase over the 23 reported in 2018. There were no serious or permanent injuries. The most-reported effect was being flashblinded and/or seeing spots. Six pilots had pain, burning or irritation in their eye. Only three pilots sought or considered seeking medical attention for their eye effects — the lowest number in the seven years analyzed by LaserPointerSafety.com (2011, 2012, and 2015-2019).

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Additional charts showing U.S. and other country laser illuminations, are on the Laser/aircraft incident statistics page.