Airport alcohol sales to be reviewed after spate of plane incidents


New aviation minister Lord Ahmad has announced he will examine the way alcohol is sold at airports amid a spate of incidents on planes involving drunk passengers.

He also pledged to ensure the way in which unruly travellers are stopped from going through airport departure gates is "fit for purpose".

Recent police statistics show hundreds of passengers were arrested on suspicion of being drunk on a plane or at an airport in the last two years.

new aviation minister Lord Ahmad

Figures obtained following freedom of information requests showed at least 442 people were held between March 2014 and March 2016.

In an interview with the Press Association, Lord Ahmad said: "If you're a young family travelling on a plane, you want to go from point A to B, you don't want to be disrupted.

"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.

"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."

A woman drinking a glass of beer

Lord Ahmad was appointed aviation minister by Theresa May when she became Prime Minister earlier this month.

His predecessor, Robert Goodwill, revealed last year that several airlines had written to the Government to warn about the number of alcohol-related incidents.

In February six men on a stag party were arrested by German police after a mid-air brawl caused a Ryanair flight from Luton to Bratislava, Slovakia, to divert to Berlin.

Ryanair plane,

Another recent case involved a female passenger punching an easyJet pilot in the face after being ordered to leave an aircraft before it took off from Manchester in May.

Glasgow and Manchester airports have trialled a scheme with shops selling alcohol in sealed bags in a bid to reduce problems on flights.