The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone who aims a laser at an aircraft, the FBI said Tuesday.
The FBI says incidents of people targeting aircraft with lasers have increased dramatically since 2005.
In the New York area, laser incidents rose from 71 in 2012 to 99 in 2013 -- a 39 percent increase in one year.
“Laser incidents are often viewed as harmless acts; this couldn’t be further from the truth," said FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos. "A laser pointed at a plane’s cockpit could blind a pilot and down an aircraft. We are asking anyone who knows anything about the recent spate of incidents to pick up the phone and call the FBI for the safety of all who fly.”
The most recent injury occurred in December when a laser was pointed at a JetBlue aircraft on approach to John F. Kennedy International Airport, temporarily blinding the pilot and causing him blurry vision for more than a week afterward, the FBI said.
The investigation is being led by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 212-384-1000. Tipsters may remain anonymous.