Transportation Security Administration to Enforce Ban of All Lighters Beginning Thursday

LOS ANGELES, April 12, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) reminds all travelers that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will fully enforce a ban of all lighters from sterile areas of airports and onboard aircraft beginning Thursday, April 14. This action is in response to a provision in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which was signed into law by the President on December 17, 2004, and required that "butane" lighters be added to TSA's Prohibited Items List.

After carefully evaluating the security threat, Congressional intent and operational considerations, TSA determined that passengers should be prohibited from carrying all lighters on their person or in carry-on luggage in the sterile areas of airports or onboard an airplane. The new policy was announced February 28, 2005 with enforcement set to begin Thursday.

All lighters will be banned from sterile areas beyond security checkpoints at airports. This includes, for example, butane, absorbed-fuel (Zippo-type), electric/battery-powered and novelty lighters.

TSA's mission includes preventing air piracy and use of an airplane as a weapon. TSA prohibits items that may be used to that end from being carried aboard an airplane. The lighter ban will fulfill Congress' intent as expressed in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act and reduce security vulnerabilities, providing one more layer of security for the nation's travelers.

The Department of Transportation classifies lighters as hazardous materials, and prohibits them from being stowed in checked baggage. TSA will dispose of lighters brought to checkpoints. Passengers at some airports may be able to ship them via a private company for a fee, but TSA strongly urges passengers to thoroughly inspect their carry-on and checked baggage for these items before going to the airport.

LAWA is a self-supporting department within the City of Los Angeles that owns and operates a system of four airports in Southern California: LAX, Ontario International (ONT), Van Nuys (VNY) and Palmdale Regional (PMD).


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