The President of the Civil Aviation Authority, Mr. Piotr Samson, launched a national social campaign called “Don’t fly into trouble” during a press conference at the Chopin Airport in Warsaw. The purpose of the campaign is to draw attention to threats arising from an improper way of packing the luggage before a flight. The press conference was accompanied by a happening at the Chopin Airport.
Within the framework of the information campaign an educational spot, posters and graphics have been prepared. They will be displayed in social media, at the airports, in public transport in Warsaw and in regional trains.
“Not many people are aware that some everyday items, such as aerosols, lithium batteries, accumulators, flashlights, cigarette lighters, mercury thermometers or fireworks may pose a threat for the flight safety”, Mr. Samson said.
The President of the Civil Aviation Authority stressed that not all items can be placed in hand luggage. Some of them are banned from registered luggage and some cannot be transported by air at all. If you want to take e.g. a camera, a drone, a tablet or a power bank, you have to follow certain rules. “If these items are packed improperly, they may self-ignite and this can lead to a fire on board of an airplane”, Mr. Samson added.
President Samson said that the Civil Aviation Authority has lately observed a significant increase of incidents related to an improper transport of dangerous goods and banned items.
“Only within last years the number of incidents increased from 154 in 2016 to 328 in 2018. Security controls reveal that awareness related to the transport of such goods is alarmingly low. That is why such a broad information campaign is necessary”, the President of the Civil Aviation Authority added.
A survey carried out among passengers revealed that only every fifth person thinks that an e-cigarette is a dangerous item and a half of the respondents does not perceive a phone or a hairspray as items posing a threat to the flight safety. Lack of knowledge among passengers on rules for the transport by air of such items is confirmed also by airport employees who participated in the survey. As many as ¾ of them is of an opinion that the lack of knowledge among passengers negatively influences the safety of flight operations.
The President of the Civil Aviation Authority stressed that at the Polish airports numerous cases were recorded where dangerous goods such as ammunition, pepper spray, cigarette lighter fuel or CO2 cartridges were discovered in luggage.
Incidents with dangerous goods concern not only Poland but equally all countries and air carriers.
“One of the most dangerous cases was a self-start of a chainsaw powered by an accumulator which was transported by a passenger in the registered luggage. The chainsaw damaged the suitcase and the protective case. The incident was noticed in the target airport”, the President of the Civil Aviation Authority added.
The participants of the conference stressed that drawing the passengers’ attention to the necessity of applying safety rules during the flight will contribute to the decrease of incidents. It will also help to decrease the risk of a plane crash which may be caused by an improper transport of such items and materials.
“Our top priority is the safety of all passengers and crew. We also want to minimize inconvenience to passengers, which can occur if prohibited items are discovered during the security search. Communication with our customers is vital, so that people have maximum understanding of the rules regarding liquids, portable electronic devices, and a range of other items. Therefore we welcome this excellent initiative in Poland to improve passenger awareness of the importance of packing safely and securely,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe.
The partners of the campaign are: the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Chopin Airport, the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency and LOT Polish Airlines. The campaign was also joined by regional airports, i.e. the Kraków Airport, the Poznań-Ławica Airport, the Wrocław Airport, the Olsztyn-Mazury Airport and the Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport.