On the eve of the July 4th holiday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reminding travelers that fireworks are prohibited on airplanes. Passengers who ignore this advice can face stiff civil penalties or even prison time in the most serious cases.
“Our number one priority at the FAA is safety,” said FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta. “Especially as Americans embark on travel around Independence Day, we ask everyone to be safe and leave the fireworks at home.”
Fireworks are covered by the hazardous materials regulations, and the penalties for violating those regulations increased last year. The maximum civil penalty limits per violation increased from $50,000 to $75,000, and in the case of serious bodily injury or death, the maximum penalty increased from $100,000 to $175,000 per violation. Criminal convictions resulting from hazardous materials violations can result in criminal fines and up to five years in prison and up to 10 years in cases that result in death or bodily injury.
Fireworks can pose a tremendous fire risk to aircraft both in the air and on the ground, including even the smallest sparklers. They are not permitted anywhere on board an aircraft, including in a passenger’s pockets.
Fireworks are banned on aircraft because friction can cause them to ignite during flight, posing a safety risk to everyone onboard. Because of this danger, domestic and international regulations prohibit passengers from carrying fireworks and firework novelty items in their checked or carry-on baggage, or on their persons.
For more information on fireworks and other prohibited items, visit the FAA’s hazardous materials website at: http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/hazmat/ or the DOT hazardous materials website: http://safetravel.dot.gov/