#UK: Alcohol consumption could be restricted at airports

THE airport may be the only place where it is socially acceptable to drink at breakfast. But the holiday breakfast beer could soon be a thing of the past — at least in some major international airports.

According to The Sun, the House of Lords in the UK parliament wants airport bars in the UK to be hit with restrictions on selling alcohol, in a bid to stop drunken air rage.
An inquiry by a parliamentary select committee has concluded that the current rules around airport drinking lead to dangerous situations.

The committee looked at a number of issues around licensing, but The Independent reported that a key concern was the fact that airport bars didn’t have to abide by rules set out in the Licensing Act 2003, which covers most drinking establishments in the UK. “No one travelling on an international flight can fail to notice that, once they have gone through customs, control of the sale of alcohol seems to be relaxed, and the permitted hours even more so,” the 186-page report read. During 10-month-long inquiry, a representative from budget British airline Jet2 also made a submission, calling for changes to regulations.

The company spokesperson claimed that more than half of the incidents with passengers behaving badly on their aircraft had been fuelled by alcohol. “This can lead to dangerous situations and must be changed,” Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, chairwoman of the Lords select committee, said according to The Independent. And after his appointment last year, the UK’s aviation minister, Lord Ahmad, pledged that he would make airports more family-friendly. As a part of this crackdown, he vowed to ensure unruly travellers were stopped from going through airport departure gates.

“I don’t think we want to kill merriment altogether, but 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,” he said at the time.
“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.”

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