Passengers carrying prohibited items, including empty bullet casings, need prior approval from an airline to board.
Although airlines may have their own policies regarding the carrying of ammunition in checked luggage, fired shells do not come under this category. Cathay Pacific, for example, allows spent shell casings to be transported in carry-on baggage as they cannot be used and may be just fragments. There is no special treatment for police or law enforcement officers, who must obtain approval from Cathay before boarding with such items.
Cathay said it had been told about what Chief Inspector Li Kwai-wah was carrying onto one of its flights from Manila and had given approval.
Under the Air Navigation (Hong Kong) Order 1995, ammunition, weapons or articles containing an explosive or any noxious liquid, gas or other items designed or made for use in warfare or against people are classified as munitions. Passengers taking them on an aircraft must obtain approval from the Civil Aviation Department. General permission has been given to a number of airlines to carry such items.