Officials voice airport security concerns
10/14/2011 By Lance Cpl. Kris Daberkoe , Marine Corps Bases Japan
CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan — Airport security can be time-consuming to navigate through, especially if travelers inadvertently violate customs restrictions while departing or arriving on Okinawa through the Naha International Airport.
“We tell everyone coming in from (or leaving for) deployment to carefully check their pockets, equipment and luggage for any government ammunition that may have been overlooked before stepping onto a commercial aircraft,” said Lloyd Logan, supervisor of the Provost Marshal’s Customs Office on Camp Foster.
By carefully reviewing each article in both carry-on and checked luggage, service members can save themselves from delays at the airport.
Regulations are in place to ensure the safety of passengers from the threat of violent crimes or unintentional explosions, said Col. David W. Detata, with Okinawa Area Field Office, U.S. Forces Japan.
Keeping track of and following all the rules that regulate what is allowed on an aircraft creates a speedy airport security experience, said Detata.
Sharp instruments or tools used for cutting, compressed gases, flammable liquids, explosives, oxidizing substances, objects with a distinct point or blunted edge; these are just a few of the types of items regulations prohibit aboard aircraft.
Attempts to transport ammunition, projectiles, large knives and swords also violate local laws.
Various military regulations and orders have been published to ensure that blades and serialized weapons are transported properly. United States Forces Japan Order 31-207, states that knives longer than 2.1 inches are forbidden off base.
Blunt, pointy objects and cutting tools are permitted in checked baggage as long as the passenger declares their presence at a security checkpoint, said Logan.
“Paints, oxidizers, ammunition and flammable substances are prohibited from commercial aircraft and cannot be shipped with (the Distribution Management Office),” said Glen L. Downs, the deputy director with DMO, Marine Corps Installations Pacific.
“Should any of these items become unstable, they can cause injury or damage to anyone or anything around them,” Downs said.
Japanese airport officials make security at all airports and aboard all aircraft a priority.
“The best bet would be to donate those household items that can pose a threat in transit or throw them away,” said Downs. “It’s important to respect our host nation’s laws.”
For a complete listing of items unauthorized on a commercial airline or ship, contact a local installation’s Distribution Management Office.
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