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Pilots report surge in laser strikes against aircraft in Florida skies

Laser light shines in the windshield of the cockpit of an airplane.
Photo provided by the Federal Aviation Administration
The shining of laser lights in the direction of aircraft can create dangerous conditions for pilots, especially during takeoffs and landings. Florida airports saw a surge of these incidents in 2021, placing the state third nationwide.

Pilots in Florida reported a record number of laser light strikes against aircraft during 2021, with the state ranking among the highest in the nation in reported incidents, according to data from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Aircraft in Florida were targeted by laser light devices 630 times last year, third behind only California and Texas, the FAA reported. Florida’s total marked a 25 percent increase over 2020 and is the state’s highest total in a single year since the FAA began recording laser strike data in 2010.

Nationally, the FAA received a record 9,723 reports from pilots last year, a 41 percent increase over 2020. California led the nation with 1,557 incidents, while Texas had 1,030.

Read more from our news partner, The Palm Beach Post.

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