MIAMI — Passengers traveling this July 4th holiday must be sure to leave fireworks at home. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the risks that poses to travel with fireworks on an airplane.
“Safety is our top priority and we want everyone to arrive at their destination safely,” FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta said. “The public can help us by leaving dangerous items, such as fireworks, out of their luggage.”
Friction during flight may cause fireworks packed in checked or carry-on baggage to ignite and cause a fire on board. Due to this threat, US and International regulations consider fireworks, regardless of their size, as dangerous goods, hence prohibiting passengers from carrying them. Also, it is against the law to mail or ship fireworks as air parcels.
The FAA reminds passengers that breaking these rules may cause civil penalties of up to $75,000 per violation, and as high as $175,000 if the violation causes death, serious illness, severe injury or substantial destruction of property. Criminal prosecution can result in up to ten years in prison as well.
In 1996, Valujet flight 592, a scheduled flight from Miami to Atlanta, plunged in the everglades minutes after takeoff, sending all 110 passengers to a watery grave. Lately, investigations determined that a fire in one of the DC-9s cargo compartments was caused by unsecured expired chemical oxygen generators, an item that FAA forbids to be transported on board.