July 10, 2017
Oklahoma Man Sentenced for Aiming a Laser Pointing Device at an Aircraft
On July 10, 2017, Jay Scott Howell was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Tulsa, Oklahoma, to 12 months’ probation and ordered to pay a special assessment fee of $100 for knowingly aiming the beam of a laser pointing device at a Tulsa Police Department helicopter. He pleaded guilty on April 10, 2017.
The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 was enacted to modernize the Nation’s aviation system and established a new criminal offense for aiming the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft or the flight path of an aircraft. The criminal statute was a response to a growing number of safety incidents in which pilots were distracted or temporarily blinded by laser beams.