The UK government is planning new restrictions on drinking alcohol in airports and planes as police statistics show a significant surge in drunkenness on flights and airports that have led to hundreds of arrests over the past two years.
Statistics from police forces in several regions of England published on Wednesday showed that a total of 273 people had been arrested on suspicion of being drunk on a plane or at an airport in 2017 and 2018.
The report said that drunken people had caused significant troubles during flights and in the airports, forcing the government to plan a ban on round-the-clock drinking in airports across England and Wales.
It said the government was considering extending high street licensing laws, which would mean passengers would not be able to buy alcoholic drinks in airports before 10 am.
The Home Office (interior ministry) has also launched a review into the case and will study evidence in the upcoming three months, said the Daily Express.
Industry figures said there was a need for the British government to take action against the surge in drunkenness at airports and on planes, saying there have been repeated cases of drunken passengers threatening the security of flights and the personnel in the airports.
“There is no evidence to suggest these incidents won’t persist without the active involvement of government,” said a spokesman for Airlines UK, the trade association for UK airlines, adding, “The problem of disruptive behavior has got progressively worse over a number of years.”
Introducing tighter restrictions on the sale of alcohol in airports comes just days after UK aviation authorities were caught off guard by a major security loophole in London’s Gatwick airport, where repeated drone-flying by unknown saboteurs caused massive disruptions and affected more than 100,000 passengers.