H.R. 5810: Securing Aircraft Cockpits Against Lasers Act of 2010

H.R. 5810

Securing Aircraft Cockpits Against Lasers Act of 2010

Date
July 27, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

H.R. 5810 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Tuesday, July 27, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage.  The legislation was introduced by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) on July 21, 2010.  The House Committee on the Judiciary took no official action on H.R. 5810.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5810 would make aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft a federal crime.  The bill specifies that anyone who knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, or at the flight path of such an aircraft, shall be fined or imprisoned for no more than five years, or both.

The bill would not prohibit aiming a beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft, or the flight path of such an aircraft, by:

An authorized individual in the conduct of research and development or flight test operations conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, the Federal Aviation Administration, or any other person authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct such research and development or flight test operations;

  1. Members or elements of the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security acting in an official capacity for the purpose of research, development, operations, testing or training; or
  2. An individual using a laser emergency signaling device to send an emergency distress signal.

The bill would allow the Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, to make regulations regarding this new crime.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office has not produced a cost estimate for H.R. 5810 at press time.