Many airport security checks redundant: BA chairman

October 27th, 2010 - 8:05 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 27 (IANS) The “excessive” security at airports that requires passengers to remove their shoes and have their laptops inspected are pointless, the chairman of British Airways has said.

Martin Broughton, chairman of British Airways, 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, Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

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 100 ml were banned from flights after a plot in August 2006, which threatened to blow up a flight using liquid explosives.

The US 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 said: “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,” Broughton added.

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