FBI: Laser sightings documented near airports on Maui, Kauaʻi
The FBI’s Honolulu Field Office, Kauaʻi Police Department and Maui Police Department are warning the public that pointing a laser at an aircraft is a federal violation that can cause serious injuries and travel delays.
Under federal law, knowingly aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is a felony offense carrying a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine (18 U.S.C. 39A). Additionally, an individual can face as much as 20 years in prison for interference with an aircraft (19 U.S.C. 32).
“Pointing a laser at an aircraft is extremely dangerous and puts the lives of those on the aircraft and on the ground at risk,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill. “This action causes an imminent threat to aviation safety with the potential to cause grave danger. It is not a harmless prank, and the FBI, KPD, and MPD takes these incidents very seriously.”
Recent sightings of lasers in and around Kahului and Kapalua Airport were reported and documented in the past week. Pilots landing at the airports have experienced a green laser illuminating their aircraft while on approach to land. Neighborhoods with reported incidents include: Kahului, Kapalua, Kīhei, and Nākālele.
Locations on Kauaʻi have also had recent laser sightings that have been reported and documented.
“I urge our community to understand the gravity of these actions and the potential consequences they carry,” said Maui Chief of Police John Pelletier. “Safety is our top priority, and we will not tolerate any actions that jeopardize the well-being of our community and those traveling through our airspace. Let us work together to ensure the safety of our skies and protect our community from harm.”
Members of the public who have witnessed an individual aiming a laser at an aircraft, or about a lasing incident, have multiple options to report the incident. To reach the FBI, call 808-566-4300 (Honolulu Field Office), 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324), email tips.fbi.gov, or dial 911.