The UK government has launched a review into airport licensing laws in a bid to crack down on drunken and disruptive passengers’ behaviour in flights.
The Home Office launched a call for evidence on airport alcohol licensing regulations. It is seeking public opinion on whether to extend licensing laws into departure halls and terminals that currently allow the sale of alcohol before 10am.
The three-month call for evidence is open to all.
At present, alcohol sales by pubs, bars, restaurants, lounges and shops located beyond the security gates at international airports in England and Wales are not regulated by these licensing laws.
Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins said: “Air travel often marks the start of an exciting holiday abroad and airports are places to eat, drink and shop as we wait to board our flights.
“Most UK air passengers behave responsibly when flying, but any disruptive or drunk behaviour is entirely unacceptable.
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“This government is committed to ensuring that the travelling environment for airline passengers remains safe and enjoyable.”
An August 2017 survey by Unite, covering more than 4,000 cabin crew working for UK-based airlines, highlighted that 87% of respondents reported witnessing drunken passenger behaviour at UK airports or in flights.
The call for evidence follows a recommendation by the House of Lords Select Committee stating that airside outlets that sell and supply alcohol to travellers should follow the same licensing rules as elsewhere.
Using the feedback from interested parties, the government aims to assess the magnitude of the problem and decide whether to enforce the Licensing Act 2003 to airside outlets.