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Feds: Laser-Pointing Incidents Double Last Year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials say incidents in which lasers have been pointed at planes nearly doubled last year, with Los Angeles and Chicago recording the most incidents.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday that there were 2,836 incidents reported in 2010 in which lasers were pointed at aircraft, compared with 1,527 in 2009. Many of the incidents involve airliners that were in the midst of takeoffs or landings, critical phases of flight when pilots need to be at their most alert. The lasers can temporarily blind pilots.

The Federal Aviation Administration said there were 108 laser incidents at Los Angeles International Airport, more than any other airport. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport was next, with 98, followed by airports in Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport and San Jose, Calif., both with 80.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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