UK airport ends security checks for passengers

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An airport in Scotland has abolished its security screening in an attempt to improve the passenger experience, but a union has warned of the risks of a terror attack.

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Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) has ended the standard screening of passengers and their cabin baggage at Campbeltown Airport, in southwest Scotland. Barra and Tiree have also had their security screening abolished.

Prospect union claims the move makes a terrorist attack "far more likely," especially as flight paths into Glasgow pass nuclear power facilities, an oil terminal and Ministry of Defence buildings, writes Simon Calder for the Independent.

The rules which ban liquids over 100ml, sharp items and firearms still apply but passengers are asked to make an oral declaration that they are not carrying any of the banned objects.

Prospect's negotiator David Avery told the Independent: "Even with planes the size of these, which are very small, when they're flying over urban areas, when they're flying over oil depots, the size doesn't particularly matter."

Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) said: "These new arrangements have been agreed and approved by the Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority. They continue to place safety and security at the forefront of every passenger's journey, whilst offering facilitation benefits in most cases."

In 2015, there were calls to put an end to Campbeltown Airport's "invasive" security checks.

Alan Baker, the acting chairman at Campbeltown Community Council, told the Campbeltown Courier: "The practice at Campbeltown airport of rummaging through every inch of passengers' check-in and carry-on luggage is outdated."

Top Ten Most Embarrassing Airport Security Incidents
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Top Ten Most Embarrassing Airport Security Incidents

A woman was left mortified when a pair of ‘large discoloured pants’ were produced from her hand luggage while travelling with her business clients who were waiting in the queue behind her.

A woman travelling with her parents was left extremely red faced when a rather large and obvious sex toy was revealed on the screens as it passed through the scanner.

Another unfortunate traveller, this time male, was heading off on a romantic break with his new girlfriend when he was stopped for a routine search. Underwear was drawn forth from his hand luggage, complete with ‘obvious skid marks’. He claimed he hadn’t intentionally packed them to wear.

One woman was pulled aside with armed police on standby as the scanner revealed a ‘belt of bullets’…which turned out to be a row of AA batteries.

One man confessed that his plans for a mid-air pre-holiday proposal were dashed when he inadvertently set off the metal detector. The public search that followed required him to produce the ring from his pocket in front of his on-looking girlfriend, who immediately clocked what it was.

Another woman, who claimed to always take a bag of soap powder on holiday for emergency clothes washing purposes, was confronted by security staff in front of her astonished grandchildren as the package was mistaken for a vast quantity of illegal class A drugs.

One man claimed to have been highly embarrassed when asked to remove a large tub of ‘personal lubricant’ as it contravened the airplane liquid allowance.

Another man felt humiliated when a collection of pornographic magazines in his hand luggage was revealed during a routine check.

A man in his forties claimed that he ‘struggled to live down’ his airport experience, when haemorrhoid cream was pulled out of his case in front of his new and younger partner as they went away on their first romantic break together.

A woman was left mortified when airport staff questioned a product in her bag which turned out to be anti-viral drugs for genital herpes. Her new partner worked as a pharmacist, so quickly realised what they were upon seeing them.

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