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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019
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The UK could clamp down on drinking in airports

New aviation minister Lord Ahmad said he didn’t want to “kill merriment altogether”.

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

PASSENGERS FLYING OUT of UK airports could face restrictions on alcohol sales as the country looks to clamp down on air-rage incidents.

New aviation minister Lord Ahmad told the Press Association that while he did not want to “kill merriment altogether”, he had to take into account new statistics.

The figures show more than 440 people have been arrested over the past two years in the UK on suspicion of being drunk on a plane or airport.

In the UK, airport bars which are beyond security gates are exempt from licensing laws.

Ahmad said it was important that those who board planes are aware of others.

I think it’s important that passengers who board planes are also responsible and have a responsibility to other passengers, and that certainly should be the factor which we bear in mind.

“In terms of specific regulations of timings of outlets (which sell alcohol) and how they operate, clearly I want to have a look at that.

“So whether you’re a businessman making travelling arrangements or you’re a family planning a holiday, you can do so knowing that once you board the plane it’s going to be an environment in which you’re going to be safe and secure.”

The British Air Transport Association (BATA), a representative body for airlines, said disruptive incidents are a “rare occurrence”.

Last year over 251 million passengers passed through UK airports. Thankfully incidents of disruptive behaviour are a very rare occurrence but where they do happen the impact can have serious consequences for fellow passengers, employees working in the air and at the airport, as well as for the disruptive passengers themselves.

“These incidents can be costly and cause delays.

“Ultimately, we need the message to go out that all passengers are responsible for their own behaviour and that causing disruption on-board an aircraft is an illegal offence which can carry a heavy penalty.”

BATA yesterday published a voluntary code of conduct for its members to deal with unruly passengers.

This will include a ban on passengers being allowed drink duty free alcohol in the airport on on the flight, bar staff being banned from selling to drunk people and airlines being allowed pursue the cost of delayed flights from disruptive passengers.

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