Licensing Act could extend to airports under govt plans

10th January, 2018 by Amy Hopkins

The traditional breakfast pint before boarding for some holidaymakers could become a thing of the past if new government proposals come into effect.

The Licensing Act 2003 could extend to airside venues

According to The Times, UK ministers are planning to extend the Licensing Act 2003 to cover airside alcohol sold to passengers before they board flights.

The change would allow local councils in England and Wales to inspect airport bars and restaurants in the same way as other licensed venues, and potentially restrict when alcohol is served.

The Home Office has also reportedly urged the Scottish government, which has devolved licensing powers, to implement similar measures.

The Times cites Civil Aviation Authority data showing that there were 418 serious cases of disruptive passengers on UK flights in 2016.

In 2015 Ryanair banned all duty-free alcohol on-board flights from the UK to Ibiza in order to “improve flying conditions” for passengers and crew. In August 2017, the carrier called for a ban on all bar and restaurant alcohol sales in UK airports before 10am and for alcoholic drinks to be restricted to two per passenger.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said at the time: “It’s completely unfair that airports can profit from the unlimited sale of alcohol to passengers and leave the airlines to deal with the safety consequences.”

A spokesperson for trade body the Airport Operators Association told SB that the industry “take[s] the issue of disruptive passengers very seriously”.

They added: “We worked with airport police, bars, restaurants and retailers as well as with airlines to develop the UK Aviation Industry Code of Practice on Disruptive Passengers and we continue to work closely together as we implement the code.

“The code sets out how we can work to further reduce incidents of disruptive behaviour, and minimise the impact where they do occur despite our best combined efforts to prevent them. Government supports the code and we believe this is the best way to tackle this issue.”

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