The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that it is investigating reports that lasers were aimed at the cockpits of at least 11 commercial flights Wednesday night near Newark-Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
MyFoxNY.com reported that five pilots of five different planes reported the incidents. By Thursday morning, the number had more than doubled.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the incidents occurred between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. WABC reported that pilots said they saw the laser about 6 miles from the airport.
Lasers being shined inside a cockpit can be disorientating for pilots as they approach an airport.
The source of the laser beams has not been pinpointed, but planes were diverted to avoid the area where the incidents occurred. All of the planes landed safely and without incident.
Pointing a laser at a plane is a federal crime. There had been nearly 2,000 laser incidents across the country through May 15, putting incidents at a record pace.
Airports around Newark reported laser use from the ground. LaGuardia had seen 36, Newark had 21 incidents and JFK had at least 5 laser incidents by mid-May.