Airport security part 2

Likewise with Melbourne this morning and Hong Kong a few minutes ago, although I kept the lithium battery in my bag for scanning.

No issues earlier this year at Glasgow,Heathrow, Budapest airports with KX2, Sotabeams linked dipole, 4m mini mast, tyt md-380, sharkrf openspot and associated batteries. I had a copy of my license ‘just in-case’.


Flew from Vienna to Tenerife South recently. Fishing pole, dipole and EFHW HF antennas, telescopic VHF/UHF antenna, spare NiMH battery in checked luggage and FT-817 radio (built-in Windcamp LiPo battery) in the carry-on. I took radio and laptop out of the bag and laid them out in the separate tray to be clearly visible by security staff.
They didn’t bat an eyelid, both ways.

But i have a weird experience with security in Lanzarote airport. They confiscated a carabiner that i had attached to my rucksack, after I flew with it several times over the years, to different countries and airports, also spanish ones. Apparently, the lady operating the scanner thought it could be used as a weapon and as soon as she indicated that, the guy from Guardia Civil took over. Oh well…

Yeah, i know. Her hand did fit, mine did not.

Wonder if I’m on some list now I’ve looked at that website :-s

Pencils can be quite nasty, too:

Melbourne airport this week, bound for Sydney: objects detected in my backpack by the x-ray operator. Security officer called and everything removed for inspection. FT60 handheld radio & accompanying battery pack immediately approved, Separate lithium battery of significant concern. (It’s accompanying FT817 and antenna were in checked backage, so no problem.) A succession of other opinions called for, before it was finally approved.

Two hours later, going through Sydney international, bound for USA: this time I removed the radio and battery from backpack and put them through the x-ray separately. No one took a second look.

I have come to expect inspections and questions, and long ago learned not to enter into discussion or debate - just let them do their job. If someone finally says ‘no’, I can then produce a copy of the airline and IATA rules, and one day I may lose the battery to a zealous inspector. For the FT817, I also carry an empty 8xAA cell battery holder. I can always buy some rechargable (or even plain alkaline) AA cells at my destination. Expensive but enabling.

1 Like

Last month, bound for London from VK, I had the KX2 with internal battery, mic and antenna in a small zip camera accessory bag in my carry on back pack.
Transiting Bangkok and going through security, I took out the kx2 bag, unzipped it, spread it open and put it an the x-ray conveyor tray with phones etc.
After it went through the x-ray, a security guy came over and had a careful look over it. I just turned my back while waiting and hoped their wouldn’t be any problems! After what seemed an eternity, he placed it back on the conveyor.
After this and for the rest of the trip, I took the battery out of the KX2 and put the KX2 my checked luggage. The battery was carefully wrapped up and taken carry on as a “spare”.
Glenn VK3YY.

When I traveled to South Cook Islands, and was questioned in San Francisco International Airport about YouKits HB-1B qrp radio and antennas in my backpack. I explained that it is HAM radio equipment and antennas. It was sufficient.

Boston to SFO: interest in the battery, basically due to declining standards of mathematics in the general population, but after a few quick discussions and an explosives check, was allowed to proceed

I have a different issue when I pass through inspections, and I’m with you…no debate necessary. I just support them in their job and make it as easy as I can for them. Things get so good we’re kidding around by the end of the discussion.
I haven’t traveled with a radio in the States, yet, but should be within the next 18 months…so long as the jackalope doesn’t institute War Powers Act and screw us all in the land of totalitarianism.

has my transceiver to be operational? I’ll travel with QCX-Transceiver (QCX ) and a LiPo Battery 2800 mAh in my hand baggage. QCX has no internal battery. I don’t want to carry the cable for connecting battery and QCX in the hand baggage, because I’m afraid it looks like a bomb…

I’ll travel from Germany to Azores (and return).

73 Axel, DF1ET

Manchester airport. KX3 RT82 Battery pack sota 40/20m dipole. No problems at all. 2m aerial and PSU in hold luggage. No problems. On way back (Prague) security man very interested in the KX3. Asked me to turn it out. Turned out he was licenced!

Earlier this year I travelled from Manchester UK to Boston MA with a KX2 with internal and spare battery and an FT-857D with 5A lipo. The KX2 and spare battery and the FT-857D passed through without comment. I had taped up the lipo terminals to prevent possibility of a short circuit and it was in a fire proof bag. This was taken away for further checks and returned to me after a few minutes. For the return journey I had packed the FT-857D in my hold baggage and just had the KX2 with spare battery and the lipo in my hand luggage and the lipo drew lots of questions about what it was and why I had not kept the radio and battery together. After pointing out that this battery was used in various radio controlled models the agent passed it to someone else who took it away for testing. After further routine questions it was handed back to me. In future I will just take the KX2 on overseas flights as it doesn’t seem to draw any questions although one person checking it on a previous occasion asked me if it was a blood pressure monitor! After returning home I found a note in my suitcase saying that my belongings had been checked by Transport Security Administration. I am not sure if this was a random check or if my hf link and 2 metre dipoles were picked up as being suspicious on an x-ray machine.

I’ve never had any issues travelling to the USA with ham gear. Last time was May this year into Newark and flying out via Dulles with my MTR2, dipole and AA batteries, no problems at all. Just make sure you have your licence handy. I tend to mark the box that carries the radio with “HAM radio” and my callsign.
GL Roger

I would always advice you contact whatever airline you are flying with and mention to them what radio equipment and what type of batteries you are planning on taking on the flight and ask them if it needs to be on your hold baggage or hand baggage. When you do response, print out 2 copies, 1 copy to put with your radio equipment in your hand baggage and 1 copy to put in your hold baggage with the radio equipment in there. This is all proof to people at security what what you are and what you are not allowed to take with you on flights in security have any questions regarding any radio equipment or batteries you are taking on the flight. Also I would also advice printing out 2 copies of your licence, CEPT regulations (if you are travelling to a CEPT country) and also the licensing regulations of the country you are travelling to. Again put 1 copy of your licence, CEPT regulations and country regulations in your hold baggage and put the other copy of those 3 things in your hand baggage. This means you are fully covered as security know that you are licenced and they also know that you are aware on which countries are CEPT countries and they also know that you are aware of the countries licencing regulations.

Me and my dad Tom M1EYP have done this now on the past few flights we have been on, when we have flown with Jet 2, we have never had a problem at the airport for both here and away. When we have flown with Easy Jet, questions have been raised by security at both airport, but that was only down to Easy Jet not being very clear on their response on what we could and could not take in our hold baggage and hand baggage.

Jimmy M0HGY

American customs regularly and routinely open hold baggage and check the contents. They always leave a little note to say they have checked it.


I have flown to a number of locations with my SOTA kit.

I have a hobbyking 4200 mAh LifePo4 battery which fits neatly inside a plastic tupperware type container for protection. I always put my rig in my hold luggage.

I take the battery in my hand luggage when I fly. I always take it out of my hand luggage and place it separately in the tray to be scanned at security.

Sometimes it goes straight through with no queries.

Sometimes it gets pulled to one side and I get the questions about what is it, what is it used for, etc. etc. Sometimes the security staff go away and swab it for explosive residues, but it always gets returned to me.

The response of the security staff varies a lot. Some have no idea what it is until you tell them it is a battery, and some don’t even realise what the regulations are for the carriage of batteries. Others are more clued up. It amuses me slightly because when they swab it, what they actually swab is the high density foam, which I installed, that surrounds the battery for physical protection. They very rarely swab the actual battery.

Nearly all of the security staff are OK about it - they are only doing their job. You just have to answer all their questions politely, do what they ask you, and eventually the battery gets returned to me.


1 Like

Thank you very much for sharing all your experiences! I think, I’ll get it done.

73’s, Axel, DF1ET