senate Bill S6877B

Establishes the offense of aiming a laser at an aircraft

download pdf

Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
view actions

actions

  • 25 / Mar / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 30 / May / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • 30 / May / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 6877A
  • 02 / Jun / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • 02 / Jun / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 6877B
  • 11 / Jun / 2014
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 11 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1298
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • RECOMMIT, ENACTING CLAUSE STRICKEN

Summary

Establishes the offense of aiming a laser at an aircraft; makes such offense a class A misdemeanor.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

Versions:
S6877
S6877A
S6877B
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง240.64, Pen L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2013-2014: A8236, A8236B
2011-2012: S4083

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6877B

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to
prohibiting aiming a laser at an aircraft

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

To prohibit the aiming of the beam of a laser at an aircraft or in its
flight path, and provides that such offense will be a class A
misdemeanor.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Amends the penal law by adding a new section 240.64 which
creates the crime of aiming a laser at an aircraft. A person is guilty
of such crime when he or she with the intent to disrupt the safe
travel of an aircraft aims the beam of a laser into airspace with the
intent to target or interfere with aircraft in the special aircraft
jurisdiction of the United States, or at an aircraft or in the
immediate vicinity of an aircraft and such beam exceeds the limits set
by the FAA for the FAA specified laser flight zone where the aircraft
was located: and a pilot in the illuminated aircraft files a laser
incident report with the FAA.

The term laser shall mean any device designed or used to amplify
electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission that emits a beam.

This section does not prohibit aiming a laser at an aircraft by an
authorized individual in the conduct of research and development or
flight test operations conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, the FAA,
or any other person authorized by the FAA to conduct such research and
development or flight test operations or members or elements of the
United States Department of Defense or Homeland Security acting in an
official capacity; or an individual in an emergency situation using a
laser to attract the attention of an aircraft for bona fide rescue
purposes: or an individual whose laser operations have been submitted
to and reviewed by the FAA.

JUSTIFICATION:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said there were 2,836 reports
of lasers being pointed at aircraft during calendar year 2010. This is
over seven incidents every single night, and is 185% greater than
2009's figure of 1,527 reported incidents.

The increase in reports is likely due to a number of factors,
including the availability of inexpensive laser devices on the
Internet: higher power levels that enable lasers to hit aircraft at
higher altitudes: increased pilot reporting of laser strikes: and the
introduction of Green lasers, which are more easily seen than red
lasers.

The use of lasers targeting aircrafts poses serious risks to pilots
and their passengers, particularly during critical operations such as
landings and takeoffs. At its worst, a strong laser beam flash, akin
to a camera flash, could cause temporary loss of vision or reduced
night vision. Eye injuries have even been reported by some pilots.One


such example occurred on February 20th, 2011 when a Southwest Airlines
flight with more than 130 people on board was making its final
approach to the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall
Airport. While the plane was at an altitude of about 2,000 feet,
someone on the ground aimed a laser at it, sending a bright beam into
the cockpit as the pilots were preparing to land. The aircraft arrived
safely but the pilot and co-pilot reportedly suffered eye injuries.

To date, no aircraft accidents have been attributed to lasers aimed at
cockpits, but anything that interferes with a pilot's ability to do
his or her job is a public safety matter that needs to be taken
seriously.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first November next succeeding the
date on which it shall have become a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 6877--B

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 25, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GRISANTI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be  committed  to  the  Committee  on  Codes  --  committee
  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
  to  said  committee  --  committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered
  reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to prohibiting aiming a laser
  at an aircraft

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 240.64 to
read as follows:
S 240.64 AIMING A LASER AT AN AIRCRAFT.
  A PERSON IS GUILTY OF AIMING A LASER AT AN AIRCRAFT  WHEN  HE  OR  SHE
WITH  THE INTENT TO DISRUPT THE SAFE TRAVEL OF AN AIRCRAFT AIMS THE BEAM
OF A LASER:
  1. INTO AIRSPACE WITH THE INTENT TO TARGET OR INTERFERE WITH  AIRCRAFT
IN THE SPECIAL AIRCRAFT JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES; OR
  2. AT AN AIRCRAFT, OR IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF AN AIRCRAFT, AND:
  (A)  THE CALCULATED OR MEASURED BEAM IRRADIANCE ON THE AIRCRAFT, OR IN
THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF THE AIRCRAFT, EXCEEDS LIMITS SET  BY  THE  FAA
FOR THE FAA-SPECIFIED LASER FLIGHT ZONE (NORMAL, SENSITIVE, CRITICAL, OR
LASER-FREE) WHERE THE AIRCRAFT WAS LOCATED; AND (B) A PILOT IN THE ILLU-
MINATED AIRCRAFT FILES A LASER INCIDENT REPORT WITH THE FAA.
  3. AS USED IN THIS SECTION:
  (A) THE TERM "LASER" SHALL MEAN ANY DEVICE DESIGNED OR USED TO AMPLIFY
ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION BY STIMULATED EMISSION THAT EMITS A BEAM; AND
  (B) THE TERM "FAA" SHALL MEAN THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION.
  4.  THIS SECTION DOES NOT PROHIBIT AIMING A LASER BEAM AT AN AIRCRAFT,
OR IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF AN AIRCRAFT, BY:
  (A) AN AUTHORIZED INDIVIDUAL IN THE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH  AND  DEVELOP-
MENT  OR  FLIGHT  TEST OPERATIONS CONDUCTED BY AN AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURER,
THE FAA, OR ANY OTHER PERSON AUTHORIZED  BY  THE  FAA  TO  CONDUCT  SUCH
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OR FLIGHT TEST OPERATIONS; OR

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD06065-07-4

S. 6877--B                          2

  (B)  MEMBERS OR ELEMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OR
THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ACTING IN AN  OFFICIAL
CAPACITY  FOR  THE PURPOSE OF RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, OPERATIONS, TESTING
OR TRAINING; OR
  (C)  AN  INDIVIDUAL IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION USING A LASER TO ATTRACT
THE ATTENTION OF AN AIRCRAFT FOR BONA FIDE RESCUE PURPOSES; OR
  (D) AN INDIVIDUAL WHOSE LASER OPERATIONS HAVE BEEN  SUBMITTED  TO  AND
REVIEWED BY THE FAA, WHEN:
  (I) THE FAA HAS ISSUED A LETTER NOT OBJECTING TO THE LASER USE; AND
  (II) THE LASER IS OPERATED IN CONFORMITY WITH THE FAA SUBMISSION.
  AIMING A LASER AT AN AIRCRAFT IS A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.