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'Air rage' crackdown on alcohol sales looms.

Byline: NEIL LANCEFIELD Daily Post Correspondent

THE way alcohol is sold at airports is to be examined amid a spate of incidents on planes involving drunk passengers.

Aviation minister Lord Ahmad has pledged to consider what more can be done to make air travel an "attractive sector for all" which is "safe and secure".

He made the comments as an airline handed a passenger a PS12,000 bill and a lifetime ban after his "abusive and aggressive" behaviour led to a plane being diverted to Manchester.

Joshua Strickland, 21, of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, "illicitly" drank alcohol he had brought on to the aircraft on July 13 and threatened a family on board the flight from Leeds Bradford to Larnaca, Cyprus, budget carrier said.

The airline added that when a member of the cabin crew attempted to calm him down, he made "physical threats towards her and also began to punch the seats".

Strickland appeared at Manchester Magistrates' Court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to being drunk on an aircraft, a court spokeswoman said.

The case was adjourned for sentencing at Manchester Crown Court on August 25.

Get has a "zero-tolerance" policy against disruptive behaviour by passengers. More than 500 of its customers have been refused travel, with over 60 of those given lifetime bans.

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.

Figures obtained following freedom of information requests show 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 the latest North Wales news at 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."

Lord Ahmad, who was appointed aviation minister by Theresa May when she became Prime Minister earlier this month, also highlighted the value of screening travellers before they board planes.

"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.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Jul 30, 2016
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