FBI Seattle Offers $10,000 Reward to Find Person(s) Responsible for Laser Strikes at Sea Airport
SEATTLE, WA—The FBI’s Seattle Field Office is offering a $10,000 reward and seeking the public’s assistance to locate the individual(s) responsible for pointing lasers at aircraft around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). Pointing a laser at an aircraft is a federal violation that can cause serious injuries and travel delays, and thousands of laser attacks go unreported every year.
Since the beginning of 2022, SEA Airport has experienced a dramatic increase of laser incidents involving incoming commercial aircraft. As of March 9, aircraft around SEA have documented more than 100 separate incidents involving lasers. Pilots landing at the airport have experienced a green laser illuminating and tracking the cockpit of their aircraft while on approach to land at SEA. Neighborhoods with reported incidents include: SeaTac, South Park, Highland Park, White Center, Burien, Normandy Park, and Des Moines.
The Federal Aviation Administration began tracking laser strikes in 2010, and the data shows a steady increase in the deliberate targeting of aircraft with handheld lasers. Shining a laser at an aircraft is a serious safety threat. Many types of high-powered lasers can incapacitate pilots, many of whom are flying airplanes with hundreds of passengers.
Federal and local agencies involved and assisting with the investigation are: the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, the Port of Seattle Police Department, the King County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, and Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations.
Members of the public who have witnessed an individual aiming a laser at an aircraft have multiple options to report the incident, including to the FBI, FAA, or local law enforcement. Reach the FBI at 206-622-0460 (Seattle Field Office), 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324), or tips.fbi.gov. The public may also email the FAA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about laser strikes, including statistics from 2010-present, reporting, potential penalties, and a video, visit the Federal Aviation Administration’s website.
FBI Seattle is one of 56 FBI field offices located in major U.S. cities with 9 satellite offices called resident agencies in Washington state. The mission of the FBI is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States. For more information, visit www.fbi.gov or www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/seattle.