Alcohol sales at airports could be restricted

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Rule exception: currently some normal restrictions for the sale of alcohol do not apply to pubs, bars and restaurants airside
Rule exception: currently some normal restrictions for the sale of alcohol do not apply to pubs, bars and restaurants airside
Restrictions should be applied to the consumption and sale of alcohol at airports, according to a parliamentary report.

The Government is set to consult on developing a new ‘UK aviation strategy’ and legal expert Poppleston Allen expects to see part of the consultation focused on whether the Licensing Act 2003 should be extended to premises situated airside.

The Independent ​has said the House of Lords report outlined that airports are left out of the Licensing Act 2003, which means some normal alcohol restrictions do not apply.

Poppleston Allen partner Andy Grimsey said: “It makes sense to apply the same principles and law airside as it does in the rest of England and Wales.

“As far as we are aware, licensed operators who operate airside don’t have any particular issues with it.

“I wouldn’t hold your breath with everything else that is going on. We expect that it will be brought into force perhaps in the next few years is my gut feeling.

“They (the Government) will apply the act airside. There’s quite a lot of hysteria about it at the moment but it is not a hugely contentious issue.”

Meanwhile, the trade underlined the need for the responsible sale of alcohol​ and action against drunken airline passengers in response to suggested limits on sales at airport bars and restaurants by Ryanair last summer (August).

The airline called for:

  • Controlling the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants to passengers during flight delays by limiting the number of drinks per boarding pass to a maximum of two.
  • Introducing the mandatory use of boarding cards when purchasing alcoholic drinks in bars and restaurants (in the same way a boarding card is needed for airport purchases) and limited the number of drinks per boarding pass to a maximum of two.
  • Banning the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants before 10am.

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) spokesperson Tony Sophoclides said: “The vast majority of passengers do behave responsibly, so a balance must be sought that allows those responsible travellers to choose to enjoy a drink should they wish, while ensuring that steps are taken to deter irresponsible behaviour, which is sometimes alcohol-related.”

A spokesperson for the British Beer & Pub Association agreed that the vast majority of holidaymakers and business travellers were able to enjoy a drink or two before flying without incident.

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