Coconut: A Surprising Air Travel Hazard

by Ella

Travellers are being cautioned about a rather unexpected item that’s strictly forbidden on airplanes due to its potential to ignite: coconuts. While whole coconuts are permissible in both carry-on and checked baggage, it’s the dried coconut meat inside, known as copra, that poses a significant safety risk.

The issue lies in the high oil content of coconut meat, which makes it highly flammable and categorizes it as a Class 4 Dangerous Good under the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) regulations. This classification means it’s considered a flammable solid and is prone to spontaneous heating under normal air transport conditions.


According to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR), dried coconut meat shares its hazardous status with items such as matches, firelighters, and certain types of batteries. The regulations are rigorously enforced to ensure air travel safety, working in conjunction with global aviation standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).


The Civil Aviation Authority lists dried coconut meat among other prohibited items for hand luggage, including explosives, firearms, and certain chemicals. These strict guidelines are aimed at preventing potential fire hazards and ensuring passenger safety during flights.


While there haven’t been reports of coconut-related incidents on planes, adherence to these regulations remains critical for air travel security. Passengers are advised to check IATA guidelines and airline-specific regulations before packing to avoid any disruptions or safety violations.




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