The Flammable Fruit: Airlines Ban Dried Coconut from Flights
The Danger of Dried Coconut: A Spontaneous Combustion Risk
Airline passengers need to be cautious about what they pack in their luggage, and one fruit, in particular, has landed on the no-fly list due to a rather surprising reason.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which regularly updates its Dangerous Goods Register, has forbidden passengers from carrying a certain product on flights, as it has the potential to “spontaneously combust.”
Understanding the Coconut Conundrum: Flammability of Copra
While passengers are allowed to bring whole coconuts on flights, both in hand luggage and in the hold, it is the dried coconut meat, commonly known as copra, that poses a problem.
Owing to its high oil content, dried coconut flesh is extremely flammable and can ignite without warning, making it a fire risk during air travel.
As a result, most airlines have banned copra from being carried on flights, with the only exception being for retail-packaged coconut products.
The Classification and Risks of Dried Coconut as a Dangerous Good
The IATA classifies dried coconut as a Class 4 Dangerous Good, branding it a flammable solid.
Copra falls under the category of substances liable to spontaneous heating under the normal conditions encountered during air transport.
Its highly flammable nature places it in the company of other dangerous items, such as matches, firelighters, metal powders, and sodium batteries, all listed on IATA’s Dangerous Goods list.
Air Travel Restrictions and Forbidden Items
Apart from dried coconut, several other items are prohibited from being carried in hand luggage according to the Civil Aviation Authority’s guidelines.
These items include liquid oxygen, stunning devices, ammunition, firearms, camping stoves, mercury thermometers, explosives (including fireworks), blunt instruments, chemical or toxic substances, tools (such as drills and crowbars), sharp objects (like knives and razor blades, except disposable razors), hoverboards, “Smart Luggage” with batteries, party poppers, and print and toner cartridges weighing over 500g.
While passengers from the EU, Switzerland, or Lichtenstein can bring fruits (except non-retail coconut flesh), vegetables, nuts, and seeds for personal use, those arriving from other nations must adhere to different rules and obtain a “phytosanitary” (plant health) certificate for fruits and vegetables.
Remaining Cautious During Air Travel
Airline safety regulations exist to ensure the safety and well-being of all passengers and crew members.
It is crucial for travelers to be aware of these guidelines and refrain from packing prohibited items in their luggage.
Staying informed about the latest travel regulations can help make the journey smoother and more secure for everyone involved.