Laser and light shows

Lasers and high-intensity lights, like sky trackers, pose a serious risk to pilots that can result in difficulties flying and impaired vision. It takes only a fraction of a second to cause flash blindness or ocular damage, even if the aircraft is travelling quite quickly.

If you're conducting a laser or high-intensity light show, you must ensure that the lasers and lights don't pose an aviation safety risk.

You should also find out if you need any local or state approvals.

Organising a laser or light show event

When organising a laser or light show, consider:

  • aircraft flight paths
  • reflections from other objects in the landscape
  • the safety of event attendees
  • the type and power of your lasers/light.

You should read AC 139-23 Laser emissions which may endanger the safety of aircraft, which details the protected zones where you can’t use laser beams.

Laser power and divergence calculator

You can use the form laser power and divergence calculator to calculate the laser power attenuation over distance.

Last updated:
14 Dec 2021
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