Morning drinking to be banned at UK airports?
Home Office to review alcohol licensing laws amid increase in alcohol-related mid-air disturbances
Air passengers who fancy a cheeky pint before early-morning flights will be out of luck if the Government goes ahead with new proposals to end round-the-clock drinking at UK airports.
The Home Office is launching a review of alcohol licensing laws at international airports in England and Wales in response to an increase in incidents involving drunken passengers. The new regulations would ban the sale of alcohol before 10am from duty-free shops as well as pubs and restaurants in terminals, The Sun reports.
In a statement announcing the plans, Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins said: “Most UK air passengers behave responsibly when flying, but any disruptive or drunk behaviour is entirely unacceptable.
“This government is committed to ensuring that the travelling environment for airline passengers remains safe and enjoyable.”
Pub and restaurant bosses have criticised the proposals as “unfair”, reports Metro.
But airlines have been calling for action to tackle the growing problem of alcohol-fuelled disturbances. Last year, a BBCPanorama investigation revealed that arrests of passengers suspected of being drunk at UK airports and on flights had risen by 50% in a year, to a total of 387 people.
An anonymous crew member told the BBC team: “It’s the alcohol mainly in the duty-free that is the significant problem.”
Last month, a Ryanair flight from Bristol to Spain was forced to turn back shortly after take-off when a drunk passenger allegedly slapped another woman on board.
The woman was arrested upon landing for being drunk on an aircraft, and Ryanair stated they “will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time”.
According to the Home Office, a survey of more than 4,000 cabin crew working for UK-based airlines in August 2017 found that 87% has witnessed drunken passenger behaviour.
Travellers already face up to two years in prison or an unlimited fine for drunkenness on an aircraft. The Government will now consider whether to extend the Licensing Act 2003 to cover airports
News Souce: The Week