FBI: Rewards to deter laser pointing at aircraft take wing - CBS 5 - KPHO

FBI: Rewards to deter laser pointing at aircraft take wing

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A program offering up to $10,000 in rewards aimed at deterring people from pointing lasers at aircraft took wing Tuesday.

The FBI said they'll pay people up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest of anyone pointing lasers at the planes.

The FBI will also be working with state and local law enforcement to educate teens about the dangers associated with lasers.

The program will run for 60 days in 12 FBI field offices, including Phoenix. 

 "It is important that people understand that this is a criminal act with potentially deadly repercussions," said Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division.

In 2013, there were 3,960 laser strikes reported nationwide, an average of almost 11 incidents per day. Industry experts say laser attacks present potential dangers for pilots.

"Shining a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft can temporarily blind a pilot, jeopardizing the safety of everyone on board," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

Thousands of laser attacks go unreported every year. 

People with information about a lasing incident or who see someone pointing a laser at an aircraft, should call their local FBI field office or 911.

Other FBI field offices participating in the regional reward program are Albuquerque, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Juan, and the Washington Field Office.

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