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    Rise in Drunk Behavior at UK Airports Could See End of 5 A.M. Happy Hour

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    Following a number of incidents involving drunk passengers, sales of alcohol at airports will be examined, said new UK Aviation Minister, Tariq Ahmad.

    Ahmad said that he does not want to "kill merriment," but that he will have to "look at" the times that alcohol is being sold in airports, as well as consider new ways of screening passengers.

    "I think that it's important for the safety and security of all passengers that we ensure that regime is actually fit for purpose," he said.

    Pubs and bars in airports run on different licensing restrictions to those found outside, which allow them to serve alcohol throughout the day and night. Airlines have raised numerous concerns regarding the number of alcohol-related incidents during flights into and out of the UK.

    Passengers wait at Heathrow Airport in London.
    © AP Photo /
    Passengers wait at Heathrow Airport in London.

    "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. If you are a young family traveling on a plane you want to go from point A to B — you don't want to be disrupted," Ahmad said.

    In one incident this year, six men from Southampton were arrested by German police after brawling mid-flight, which forced the plane bound for Bratislava to land unscheduled in Berlin.

    According to information obtained under the freedom of information request, upward of 442 passengers have been arrested over the last two years for being intoxicated on board a plane or while at an airport. 

    Gatwick Airport, London.
    © Photo : Rex Features
    Gatwick Airport, London.

    Talking to Good Morning Britain, the Independent's Simon Calder said that:

    "It won't happen with a straightforward booze ban, there'll be various techniques they (the government) will be looking at such as hours and restricting the number of drinks you can have. You have have to have your boarding card scanned or marked so you only have a couple of drinks."

    Ahmad was appointed as Aviation Minister earlier this month by new British Conservative prime minister Theresa May.     

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    Tags:
    drunk, airport security, passengers, alcohol, bar, drinking, flights, aviation, airport, ban, Tariq Ahmad, Great Britain, United Kingdom
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