FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – Airport authorities say approaching pilots may have been targeted by a laser on Friday night as they neared Fort Wayne International Airport.
Director of Operations Joe Marana confirmed with ABC21 that pilots reported a “laser incident” late Friday.
Police were dispatched to the area.
While Marana says airport operations were not affected, air traffic controllers did give pilots the option of landing on alternate runways more distant from the reported laser.
Strikes by easily obtainable laser pointers can be potentially catastrophic for aircrews and passengers on board. The light can temporarily blind pilots, leaving them unable to safely fly the aircraft as they approach or take off from the airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration reports 6,754 such incidents in 2017. That is a 250% increase since the FAA began tracking laser strikes in 2010.
For those caught pointing lasers at aircraft, penalties can be tough. The FAA can impose fines of up to $11,000 per violation.