Guidance on Mitigation Strategies Against Laser Illumination Effects
This document is intended to give guidance to users, regulators and persons in the aviation field who may be affected by the potential visual interference effects of lasers aimed at aircraft by the general public. The potential effects include startle (distraction, disruption, disorientation, and operational incapacitation), glare, and flashblindness. This document provides mitigation strategies against such effects, including operational procedures, pilot education, and the use of Laser Glare Protection.
Prevention of harm from laser eye injuries is discussed but is not a focus of this document, due to the extremely low likelihood of injurious levels of laser light in typical aircraft illumination scenarios.
Devices for detecting and reporting hazardous laser illuminations are briefly described in Appendix D, but are not a focus of this document.
Some information in this document may also be useful for non-aviation users, such as persons driving vehicles. Additional information can be found in ANSI Z136.6, “Safe Use of Lasers Outdoors”.
The greatest single bright-light concern in aviation today is portable hand-held lasers misused by the general public. Bright laser light aimed at the aircraft during night and dim conditions can interfere with pilots’ vision. There is also a small but finite possibility of laser light causing an injury to pilots’ eyes.
This document provides information about (1) operational considerations, (2) education and training, and (3) whether and how to mitigate these effects using Laser Glare Protection (LGP). In addition, a brief description of devices to locate and report laser illuminations is given in Appendix D.
Stakeholders include: Pilots and aircrews, aircraft operators, public safety managers such as police and medical officials, and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).