Saturday, June 05, 2021

Flight crews say laser pointed at jets above McCarran International Airport (KLAS),

The crews of three jets flying into McCarran International Airport on Friday night reported that someone pointed a laser at them as they approached the runway.

McCarran spokeswoman Melissa DeFrank said the incidents happened between 9:40 p.m. and midnight.

“One was a regional jet and the other two were commercial airlines,” DeFrank said, adding that “all three landed safely.”

The crews of each jet reported the matter to the McCarran air traffic control tower. The tower reported it to the Federal Aviation Administration. Las Vegas police were also contacted, DeFrank said.

FAA spokeswoman Tammy L. Jones released information Saturday afternoon on a laser being pointed at a Frontier Airlines flight.

“The crew of Frontier Flight 2135 reported that the aircraft was struck by a green laser approximately 12 miles east of Las Vegas McCarran International Airport,” Jones said in an email. “The incident occurred around 11:27 p.m. Friday while the Airbus A321 was at an altitude of 6,000 feet. No injuries were reported.”

The agency did not immediately provide information on the other two incidents.

The agency said on its website that the pointing of lasers at airliners should be considered a “serious threat to aviation safety.”

“The light from a high-powered laser beam can temporarily blind a pilot flying an aircraft with hundreds of passengers,” the FAA said.

The agency said it works with federal, state and local law enforcement to pursue civil and criminal penalties against anyone who aims a laser at an aircraft.

“The agency takes enforcement action against people who violate Federal Aviation Regulations by shining lasers at aircraft and can impose civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation,” the FAA said. “The FAA has imposed civil penalties up to $30,800 against people for multiple laser incidents. To minimize risk, pilots and crewmembers should report laser incidents as soon as possible.”

This is not the first time someone has pointed a laser at incoming aircraft at McCarran. A Las Vegas man who pointed a green laser light at aircraft at McCarran was sentenced in 2012 to eight months in prison. Michael Viera-Crespo, Jr., then 28, pleaded guilty to attempted destruction of an aircraft stemming from an August 2011 incident.

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