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US: 9,723 illuminations reported to FAA during 2021

In 2021, pilots in the U.S. reported seeing lasers 9,723 times, according to FAA data. This is a 42% increase over the 6,852 reports received in 2020.

Pic 2022-02-01 at 12.20.44 AM

This means pilots saw lasers on average 26.6 times each day in 2021.

The chart above, and other detailed statistics, are on the Laser/aircraft illuminations statistics page. This includes data such as the following:

  • The total number of U.S. laser/aircraft incidents since reporting to the FAA was mandated in 2004, is 71,435 as of Dec. 31, 2021.

  • The total number of worldwide laser/aircraft incidents reported to authorities since 2004 is 102,104. Only eight countries are included in this cumulative total, and many of these do not have data for some years in the 2004-2021 time period, so the actual number of incidents is higher.

  • Green laser light remains the most-reported. In 2021, 86.1% of incidents involved green light; blue was second with 8.8%. The number of blue lasers reported has, in general, increased over the past few years. For example, in 2016 only 2.9% of incidents involved blue laser light.

  • In 2021, 0.5% of FAA-reported laser/aircraft incidents indicated that crew members suffered eye effects or temporary injuries. This rate has decreased since 2011, when 1.4% of incidents incurred eye effects or temporary injuries. The most-reported effects were flashblindness and/or afterimage; pain, burning or irritation; blurriness; and unspecified eye injuries.