A comprehensive resource for safe and responsible laser use

Latest aviation statistics



This is a quick summary of laser/aircraft incident statistics. More information, and sources, are listed on the News/Statistics, laws, other page and are placed in the “Statistics” category.

United States


January 10 2017: FAA data shows that there were 7,442 laser illuminations reported by pilots. This is a slight decrease of 3.5% compared to 2015.

Pic 2017-01-10 at 2.41.31 AM


Most of the incidents involved green lasers:

FAA 2016 reported laser colors pie chart - 0600w


This chart shows the day-to-day variability of laser incidents over one year, 2014. The thin light blue line is the actual number of incidents for each day. The thick dark blue line is the 30-day moving average, to smooth out the data. Story here.

laser-illuminations-reported-to-faa-2014-every-day-450w

A study by AirSafe.com, looking at 17,663 incidents between 2010 and 2014 is here.

The FAA has a spreadsheet with details of each laser incident from 2010 through 2014 (and possibly later as the information is updated). Story and link to the spreadsheet here.

Statistics on 2013 FAA incidents are here.

Historical statistics on 2004-2013 FAA incidents are here.

Canada


  • According to Transport Canada, in 2015 there were almost 600 reported incidents. This is an increase over 502 incidents reported in 2014. Story here.
  • A February 2016 story in the Ottawa Citizen says in 2015 there were well over 663 incidents. The reason for the discrepancy with the Transport Canada figures above is not known. The chart below is from the Ottawa Citizen’s analysis. Story here with more charts.

           pic-2016-06-22-at-11.49.29-am


United Kingdom


  • 1,439 reports of laser attacks in 2015; 55% of pilots experienced a laser attack, September 2015 to September 2016, according to BALPA. Story here; number also mentioned here by CAA.
  • A story on laser illuminations of police aircraft in 2015; one helicopter in South Yorkshire has been hit nearly 100 times.
  • According to the Daily Mail, “Between 2009 and June 2015 more than 8,998 laser incidents across the country were reported to the UK Civil Aviation Authority.” For comparison, there were about 21,400 incidents in the US during that time period. Story here.
  • Here are figures from 2009-2014, according to the CAA. Story here.

           2009-2014-uk-caa-laser-incidents-chart

Ireland


  • Incidents of lasers aimed at aircraft in Ireland fell from 153 in 2014, to 134 in 2015, and could be less than 50 in 2016, according to the Irish Aviation Authority. Story here.
  • There were 158 incidents in 2013. Story here.

Northern Ireland


35 aircraft illumination incidents in 2015. Sixteen incidents from January 1 through mid-October 2016. Story here.

Scotland


  • An April 2013 investigation by the Scottish Express found 338 incidents in Scotland from January 1 2011 through February 13 2013. Only 12, or 3.5 percent, had been solved. Story here.
  • In a story about a May 14 2012 laser incident, the Scotsman reported that there were 107 laser incidents involving aircraft in Glasgow during 2011, up from five incidents during 2008. Story here.

Germany


In Germany during 2012, there were 261 incidents reported of lasers being aimed at aircraft. Twenty-seven of these were in the Berlin area. Story here.

Finland


According to the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi), there were 60 cases of laser interference with aircraft in 2013, and 58 cases Jan.-Nov. 2014. Story here.

Norway


Around 100 incidents per year where lasers were pointed at aircraft in Norway. Story here.

Europe


There were 4,266 laser/aircraft incidents in Europe in 2010, according to air traffic agency Eurocontrol. In 2008, there were 1,048 European incidents. Story here.

Australia


There were 502 laser/aircraft incidents in Australia in 2015, up slightly from the 466 in 2014. Story here with more charts.

pic-2016-06-22-at-11.58.31-am 


New Zealand


116 incidents in 2013. Story here and earlier story here.

South Africa


  • 20 reports of laser illuminations of aircraft in the 47 days between January 1 and February 16 2016. Story here.
  • There have been 170 laser incidents in South Africa to date [Jan 1 - Aug 1 2012] in 2012, according to the director of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). That is roughly on pace for 290 incidents for the entire year, which represents a 66% increase over the 175 incidents in 2011. Story here.
  • There have been 181 laser/aircraft incidents recorded in South Africa, from January 1 2010 to February 29 2012, according to the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS). Story here.

Italy


According to the Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo, there were 1,189 reported laser-aircraft incidents in 2014, occurring at 35 Italian airports. This is up 34% from the 2013 figure of 885 incidents. Story here.

2010-2014-italy-laser-incidents-chart