Pilots issue warnings about outdoor laser light decorations - KCTV5

Pilots issue warnings about outdoor laser light decorations

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Christmas laser lights can be much more bright when shining in pilots' eyes than you would think. (KCTV) Christmas laser lights can be much more bright when shining in pilots' eyes than you would think. (KCTV)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Decorating for the holiday season is a fond tradition for a lot of us and it's that time of year where holiday decorations are lighting up city streets once more.

Up in the sky, however, those laser lights are more than just a scenic gaze.

That’s why, if you plan on using laser lights, the airport and pilots are asking you to watch where you're pointing them.

"If they hit you in the eyes, they're pretty bright,” which can be a big distraction according to Gregg Bourdon, who pilots KCTV5’s Chopper 5. "As the technology increases, there are more laser light displays both commercially and residentially."

Bourdon has been flying KCTV5’s helicopter for six years. "Breaking news, police chases,” he said. “We've done a lot of big stories in Kansas City. You never know. From one day to the next, you never know."

During that time, he has seen Kansas City's night's sky get brighter and brighter each holiday season. Laser lights are becoming more popular because they are easier to install.

Directions do point out not to aim displays into the sky, especially near an airport. The Federal Aviation Administration warns that many brands of laser lights are powerful enough to pose risks to aircraft.

"Just be careful with them,” said Bourdon. “A lot of time lasers do hit an aircraft, it's by accident."

Kansas City International Airport tweeted out a reminder to not aim laser lights toward trees or the sky, noting that police may stop by if they see them arranged like that.

So, if you're heading home from work and plan to start untangling your holiday lights, keep in mind those working thousands of feet above you.

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