For Immediate Release

Release No. AWP-5 05-01
May 21, 2001
Contact: Jerry Snyder
Phone: (310) 725-3580

Don’t make the mistake of packing fireworks in your checked or carry-on bags if you are flying somewhere to celebrate Independence Day.

Passengers risk substantial fines and up to five years in prison by carrying fireworks in their bags or on their person on commercial passenger flights. Fireworks of all shapes and sizes, from sparklers and poppers to cherry bombs and rockets, are strictly prohibited because of the extreme danger they pose should they ignite during flight. The potential for spontaneous ignition, combined with improper packing and resulting fire in an aircraft’s inaccessible cargo hold, are well know.

Both domestic and international regulations prohibit the carriage of fireworks or firework novelty items in passengers’ checked or carry-on baggage. The transportation of fireworks is a concern around Independence Day every year since most of the annual sales of these goods take place in June and July.

Any person carrying fireworks onto an aircraft or attempting to ship them illegally faces civil penalties of up to $27,500 per violation, or criminal prosecution that would carry penalties of $250,000 and five years in prison.

Certain fireworks may be shipped as cargo on some airlines, but only if shipments are properly packaged, marked and declared under the hazardous material regulations of the Department of Transportation’s Research and Special Program Administration (RSPA). For detailed information, call the RSPA hotline at 1-800-467-4922.