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WASHINGTON 7/01/98- If you are flying somewhere to celebrate Independence Day, don't make the mistake of packing fireworks in your checked or carry-on bags, the Federal Aviation Administration warned travelers today.

"Fireworks of all shapes and sizes - from roman candles to the smallest poppers and sparklers - are strictly prohibited from passengers' bags," said Cathal Flynn, associate administrator for Civil Aviation Security. "Not only would you be risking fines or even criminal prosecution by carrying fireworks on board a passenger plane," Flynn said, "you would endanger yourself and everyone else on board."

The transportation of fireworks has been a particular problem around Independence Day every year since most of the annual sales of these goods take place in June and July.

Both domestic and international regulations prohibit fireworks or novelties to be carried in passengers' checked or carry-on baggage. Violators are subject to civil penalties of up to $27,500 per violation, and to criminal prosecution that would carry penalties of $250,000 or more and up to five years in prison.

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