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Public asked about pre-flight airport drinking

The UK government is asking the public whether it thinks new laws stopping morning boozing would reduce air rage.

Would new laws stopping morning drinking at airports curb drunk and disruptive passengers? The UK government is asking the public this question before it introduces new alcohol licensing laws at airports in England and Wales.

A review of licensing laws at airports is ready to be launched, which could bring an end to early morning boozing in airport bars and restaurants, TTG reports.

It follows a recommendation from the UK’s House of Lords Select Committee for licensing, after a rise in reports of drunk and disorderly airline passengers.

Currently, sales of alcohol by airside pubs, bars, restaurants, lounges and shops at international airports in England and Wales are not regulated by licensing laws.

As a result, laws intended to prevent the sale of alcohol to drunk individuals or stop irresponsible promotions do not apply.

This is “an excellent opportunity” for people, companies and NGOs to engage directly with the government to “inform our understanding of the problem and identify suitable solutions”, says Victoria Atkins, parliamentary under-secretary of state for crime.

“Most UK air passengers behave responsibly when flying, but any disruptive or drunk behaviour is entirely unacceptable.”

The three-month call for evidence is open to all who want to contribute.

One too many
Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, reacted to the news by saying its members are committed to “reducing further the already small numbers of disruptive incidents that result from passengers’ excessive alcohol consumption”.

“Airports work closely with airlines, airport retailers, bars and restaurants and the police to tackle excessive alcohol consumption at all stages of the passenger journey. This includes passengers’ travel to the airport, at the airport and consumption onboard aircraft,” she said.

She referred to the work of the association’s One Too Many campaign that launched this summer, which seeks to remind travellers of the “consequences of disruptive behaviour”.

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