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Provo police searching for person targeting pilots with lasers

By Harrison Epstein - | Jan 28, 2022

Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo

A plane stands stationary on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at the Provo Municipal Airport.

The Provo Police Department is on the lookout for someone in the area who has been shining lasers into the eyes of pilots flying over the city.

The laser pointers can temporarily blind pilots and, according to Sgt. Nisha King with the police department, increase the risk of fatal mistakes. The Federal Aviation Administration website reads, “Aiming a laser at an aircraft is a serious safety risk and violates federal law.” The Provo Police Department is also working with the FAA in its investigation.

King told the Daily Herald the one thing investigators know right now is that the lasers are coming from the west side of the highway.

“So we’ve been working with (the FAA), we’ve been working with the Provo Airport operations tower trying to get the GPS location of the vicinity of where the person with the laser pointer is,” King said.

According to a video released by the police department, there have been 11 laser-pointer incidents in Provo since November. King added that there have been 240 reports to the FAA since November statewide.

She also added that the incidents have occurred predominantly on commercial flights going over Provo, not necessarily ones landing at the Provo Airport. Included in the Provo PD video was information from the FAA’s “Lose the Laser” informational video, which says that consequences include fines up $250,000 and five years in jail.

“Ultimately, it’s a safety concern,” King said.

The department asked that anyone with information surrounding the incidents call dispatch at 801-852-6210 or email officer Steven Brough at sbrough@provo.org.

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