'Children and celebrities don't need security checks' says BA boss

Children, celebrities, frequent fliers and pilots should not be subjected to the same security checks as passengers who may be considered more of a danger, the chairman of British Airways has said.

Lashing out at airport security rules, he claimed it was time to abandon the 'one size fits all' approach in favour of some form of profiling.

For example, he claims that Yemeni students should be subjected to more rigorous security checks at airports than pilots.

His proclamations come just days after a parent took a shocking video of a child being subjected to an invasive body search at a US airport.

Speaking to the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in London, Sir Martin Broughton said that it made no sense to force all travellers to endure lengthy queues 'in the name of uniformity' and said that checking young children, well known personalities and airline staff was a waste of time.

He asked: 'Is it sensible to run exactly the same security checks on pilots – each and every time they fly – as, for example, a Yemeni student?'

He said that while some would describe this as profiling, 'which some people regard as a pejorative term' with 'discriminatory overtones', such concerns were unnecessary, the Financial Times reports.

'Making everybody suffer inconvenience in the name of uniformity doesn't make any sense at all and reduces the quality of security by dissipating resources,' he said.

Sir Martin said he had seen a BA board member selected for 'additional screening' for a flight from the UK to the US.

'Well-known celebrities such as Henry Kissinger also get picked out, as do a number of infants,' he added.

He said flight crew should be treated as the 'the ultimate trusted traveller', saying: 'Let's face it, they don't need a bottle of hydrogen peroxide to do their damage if that's what they were intent on.'

He criticised the US for imposing tighter security controls on foreign visitors than themselves, saying: 'They seem to have forgotten that the 9/11 assault was entirely internal with no foreigners entering the country.'

He also criticised UK authorities for not backing new screening machines that would allow laptops to stay in bags and other rules that created a 'scandalous waste of time and effort.'

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