WICHITA, Kansas – Pointing a laser to the sky may seem like a harmless act, but the FBI announced Tuesday that is a federal violation that could cost you five years in prison.
The Wichita Airport Authority and McConnell AirForce Base joined the FBI to announce a campaign to prevent people from pointing lasers at aircraft.
Federal officials say the deliberate targeting of planes by people with hand-held lasers has increased significantly since 2005, when the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration began tracking such crimes.
Right here in Wichita, officials say the number of reported attacks jumped from 10 to 23 within two years.
Chief Roger Xanders with the Wichita Airport Authority says people need to realize how dangerous a laser can be.
“It only takes one laser attack on an aircraft to cause a major incident, and that’s going to affect many lives in a very negative way,” said Xanders.
For the next 90 days, the bureau’s 56 field offices are offering $10,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest of anyone who threatens aircraft in a laser attack.