Looking for a Federal law

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by joe1010, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. joe1010

    joe1010 New Member

    Does anyone know of a US federal law which states that it is illegal to shine a laser class3b or more into the air. I've looked a lot and cannot find such a law.

  2. Pangolin

    Pangolin Staff Member

    A few comments off the top of my head.

    First, if you have a Class 3B laser, this may very well mandate that you need a variance. And a variance mandates that you do certain things, among them, inform the FAA if you are going to shine a laser into airspace, and get permission before doing so.

    While there may not be a law specifically prohibiting the shining of a laser into airspace, I believe legislation was recently passed preventing anyone with any laser (of any power, even Class 2) from shining it into a cockpit, automobile, or otherwise interfering with the safe use of other kind of moving vehicles. This might not be the exact wording, but the bottom line is -- don't shine a laser at pretty much anything except for a projection screen and, perhaps (if you have a variance) on buildings and other termination structures.

  3. joe1010

    joe1010 New Member

    Yes, you are correct about certain federal laws regarding planes etc.There are some state laws regarding harrassment with laser pointers, in my state the law was passed in 1999 but appears to be recinded in 2002. There does not appear to be any state laws in the same vein as the first question.

    I've another question for you. The copied text below is from AC NO:70-1. How do I make sense of this?

    a. Why is it necessary to Notify the FAA
    (1) In recognition of the FAA's role in promoting aviation safety, the FDA requires notice to the FAA as a condition of a variance for outdoor laser operations.

    a. Through use of this AC, the FAA intends to maintain a high level of safety between laser operations and aircraft operations. The FAA is requesting that laser operators submit information on a voluntary basis using the form in this AC

  4. Pangolin

    Pangolin Staff Member

    Hi Steve,

    I guess you are implying that the two statements are contradictory? Or that the use of the word "voluntary" makes it seem that you don't really have to send in a notification? I think the answer is that the two statements are just not very well written. Sometimes a single word can make all of the difference for clarity or confusion.

    I personally don't know the answer to this. Greg Makhov or Patrick Murphy probably would, as they were intimately involved in the development of those documents. Perhaps they will find time to reply to this one day, or you can always contct them yourself.

    In any event, my uneducated interpretation is that a) you have to give notice to the FAA as part of your variance, and b) they would LIKE you to use their form in their format, but this is not strictly necessary (i.e. you can provide notice on your own kind of form and in your own format, as long as you provide the necessary information).

    Note that the latter is the case for Laser Show Reports as well. When you do a laser show, you should fax a Show Report to CDRH AND to the local FDA branch. As far as I know, there is no "format" to this. You tell them where the show is, how many people will be there, a bit about the equipment used and the show scenario, etc. But this is all your format, your piece of paper, etc. I haven't seen a form or document standard for this, and have never been requested to supply more information after we fax in a form ourselves...