For Immediate Release

Release No. AWP-5 13-01
December 7, 2001
Contact: Jerry Snyder
Phone: (310) 725-3580

There is much to celebrate this time of year and fireworks can play a big part in the festivities. However, packing fireworks in your checked or carry-on baggage is dangerous business and illegal. Now, with the United States in a heightened state of security it is more important than ever that passengers be aware of the regulations prohibiting fireworks on commercial passenger flights.

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.

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 $500,000 and five years in prison. Falsely stating to the air carrier that there are no fireworks in your checked or carry-on baggage may be considered an aggravating factor that may result in compounded penalties.

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 or email RSPA at