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Airport Security Checks are Completely Redundant, BA Chairman says

Passengers are needlessly removing their shoes and having their laptops inspected due to pointless security checks at airports, the chairman of British Airways has claimed.

By Peter Hutchison

October 27, 2010 "
The Telegraph" -- Martin Broughton criticised “redundant” airport checks and said Britain should stop “kowtowing” to American demands for increased security.

He told the annual conference of the UK Airport Operators Association in London that many of the security checks should be scrapped.

Mr Broughton added that there was no need to “kowtow to the Americans every time they wanted something done” to bolster security on flights bound for the United States.

In a speech he said: “America does not do internally a lot of the things they demand that we do. We shouldn’t stand for that. We should say, 'we’ll only do things which we consider to be essential and that you Americans also consider essential’.”

He pointed out that many of the checks, such as making passengers remove their footwear, are not required on internal US flights. It was introduced after the “shoe bomber” Richard Reid hid explosives in his shoes on a transatlantic flight in 2001.

Measures were increased following other threats. Liquids over 100ml were banned from flights after a plot in August 2006 which threatened to blow up a flight using liquid explosives and America increased demands for extra passenger checks on flights after a Nigerian man tried to detonate a device hidden in his underwear on a flight to Detroit in December last year.

He continued: “We all know there’s quite a number of elements in the security programme which are completely redundant and they should be sorted out.”

He also suggested that differing attitudes towards technology made checks on laptops pointless.

“Take the iPad, they still haven’t decided if it is a laptop or it isn’t a laptop. So some airports think you should take it out and some think you shouldn’t,” Mr Broughton said.



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