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TSA Talks Prohibited Items At Blue Grass Airport

Representatives of the Transportation Security Administration stopped by Blue Grass Airport Friday to emphasize what not to bring onto a plane. 

Standing before a large display of contraband, TSA Regional Spokesman Mark Howell highlighted the kind of items they regularly find when passengers go through security.  He says the most common offenders are blades, either hidden, parts of pocketknives, or box cutters.    Since Blue Grass airport is in Bourbon Country, it’s also not uncommon to catch bottles of alcohol over the 3.4 ounce limit.  Howell says prohibited items are “voluntarily abandoned,” after the TSA gives passengers various options to transport the item legally. 

"Once it comes to the checkpoint, we’ll give them the option to go put it back in their checked bag.  They can put it in their car if they drove to the airport, give it to a loved one that may have brought them and some airports actually have mailers as well where you can send it back to yourself in the mail," he said.

About 25-50 pounds of items are abandoned at Blue Grass Airport each month.  Illegal items are destroyed, while the rest is given to the state’s surplus office to be sold at auction.  While Howell says they haven’t caught anything unusual in Lexington, other cities are another story. 

"I did the same event in Cleveland on Wednesday of this week, and somebody had brought a weed whacker, like the electric 4-foot weed whacker,” he said.     

Howell says ultimately, passengers should think before they pack, as prohibited items can slow down security lines significantly.  More information on what can be brought on a plane can be found online at tsa.gov.

Chase Cavanaugh first got on the air as a volunteer reader for Central Kentucky Radio Eye, a local news service for the visually impaired. He began reporting for WUKY in February 2012, after receiving his Master’s degree from the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.