H.R. 386: Securing Aircraft Cockpits Against Lasers Act of 2011

H.R. 386

Securing Aircraft Cockpits Against Lasers Act of 2011

March 1, 2011 (112th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

On Monday, February 28, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 386, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  The bill was introduced on January 20, 2011, by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, as well as the Committee on the Budget.  The Committee on the Judiciary held a markup of H.R. 386 on January 26, 2011, and ordered the bill to be reported by voice vote.

Bill Summary

H.R. 386 would amend Title 18 of the United States Code to require criminal penalties for any individual who knowingly aims a laser pointer at an aircraft within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, or its flight path.  The penalties include fines and imprisonment of up to five years.


According to CBO, H.R. 386 would have no significant budgetary impact.  The legislation could affect direct spending and revenues, so pay-as-you-go procedures apply, but CBO estimates that any such effects would not be significant.


According to CBO, the government might be able to pursue cases against violators that it otherwise would not be able to prosecute.  However, CBO expects that H.R. 386 would apply to a relatively small number of offenders, so any increase in costs for law enforcement, court proceedings, or prison operations would not be significant.  Any such costs would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.


Because those prosecuted and convicted under H.R. 386 could be subject to criminal fines, the federal government might collect additional amounts if the legislation is enacted.  Criminal fines are recorded as revenues, deposited in the Crime Victims Fund, and later spent.  CBO estimates that any additional revenues and direct spending would not be  significant because of the small number of cases likely to be affected.