FBI offering $10K reward in commercial aircraft laser incidents near SEA

SEATAC, Wash. — The FBI’s Seattle Field Office is offering a $10,000 reward and seeking the public’s help to find those responsible for pointing lasers at airplanes around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Since the beginning this year, the airport has had a dramatic increase in laser incidents arriving airplanes, according to the FBI.

As of March 9, aircraft around SEA have documented more than 100 incidents involving lasers. Pilots landing at the airport have experienced a green laser illuminating and tracking the cockpit while approaching the airport to land.

Neighborhoods where incidents were reported include SeaTac, South Park, Highland Park, White Center, Burien, Normandy Park and Des Moines.

Pointing a laser at an aircraft is a federal violation and a serious safety threat, as many types of high-powered lasers can incapacitate pilots who have hundreds of passengers on board, a news release from the FBI said.

The Federal Aviation Administration began tracking laser strikes in 2010. Data shows a steady increase in the deliberate targeting of aircraft with handheld lasers, according to the FBI.

Anyone who has witnessed someone aiming a laser at an aircraft can report it to local police, the FBI or the FAA. The Seattle Field Office of the FBI can be reached at 206-622-0460. Tipsters can also call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324), or use tips.fbi.gov. The public may also email the FAA at laserreports@faa.gov.