Fireworks Illegal on Airplanes

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Certain types of fireworks are legal in Hawaii, but fireworks are not allowed on airplanes.

That's something Federal officials want travelers to keep in mind this time of the year.

Hawaii airports continue to be a hotbed of fireworks seizures in the Federal Aviation Administration's Western Pacific Region.

"Last couple of years typically about a third of the seizures were at Hawaii airports but in 2007, the percentage was closer to 50%," said Ian Gregor of the FAA.

The FAA wants to remind travelers that all fireworks can pose a threat during a flight.

"Even seemingly innocuous items such as sparklers can ignite from friction and if you get an on board fire from an aircraft at 30-thousand feet, that has the potential to be extremely tragic," Gregor said.

But some passengers have mixed feelings.

"I don't think that the number of fireworks that someone could carry on board would cause much problem," said George Hovey.

"I don't think it's very safe for us to be transporting fireworks from here to mainland and I hope that if it's going through passengers that TSA catches them, because they shouldn't be going through at all," said Leatrice Maiava.

Gregor believes many are unaware that bringing fireworks on a plane is illegal.

"I think a vast majority of the people just don't know it's not malice, its just ignorance of the law."

People who violate hazardous materials regulations can end up paying stiff fines.

"Civil penalties range from $250 per violation up to $50,000 per violation and criminal convictions though rare can result in prison sentences up to five years and fines up to $250,000," Gregor said.

This year, the FAA's Western Pacific Region proposed more than $3 million in fines for hazardous materials violations.