Home Office launches airside alcohol licensing at airports consultation

In a consultation announced today (that will run until 11.45pm on 1 February 2019), the Home Office is seeking evidence on alcohol-related disruptive behaviour at international airports in England & Wales and the impact airside alcohol licensing could have on reducing this problem. You can download the consultation paper below.

On its website the Home Office states as follows:

Consultation description

In May 2016, the House of Lords appointed a Select Committee to carry out post-legislative scrutiny of the Licensing Act 2003 (“the Act”).

The Select Committee took a particular interest in disruptions caused by drunken airline passengers and implications of airside alcohol consumption for crime, disorder and public safety at international airports in England and Wales.

The Select Committee recommended in its report, published in April 2017, that in light of the increased number of alcohol related incidents at airports in recent years, the government should revoke the exemptions from the Act that apply to 24 international airports in England and Wales. The government committed to issuing a call for evidence in response to this recommendation.

The aim of this call for evidence is to allow the government to assess:

  • the true scale of the problem of drunk and disruptive passengers at international airports in England and Wales
  • the extent to which airports and airlines use effectively the existing statutory powers and other measures to address the problem
  • the impact of these interventions as well as the proposed application of the Act

The call for evidence is broken into 5 main sections:

  • Section 1: scale of the problem of drunk and disruptive airline passengers
  • Section 2: effectiveness and limitations of the current statutory and voluntary instruments in managing the problem of drunk and disruptive airline passengers
  • Section 3: the impact the Act could have on addressing the problem of drunk and disruptive passengers if applied airside at international airports in England and Wales
  • Section 4: economic implications of applying the Act airside at international airports in England and Wales
  • Section 5: administration of the Act airside: feasibility and practicalities

We want to hear from a range of individuals, public sector organisations, airlines, airports and businesses, about the extent to which the problem of drunk of disruptive passengers affects them. We also want to hear views on whether a legislative intervention is necessary and what implications, if any, a decision to maintain or remove the exemption under the Licensing Act 2003 would have.

Please note that sales of alcohol at international airports in Northern Ireland and Scotland are outside the scope of this call for evidence as they are separately regulated under the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 and the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.

If you wish to submit any audio-visual material please do so by emailing us the web link to where audio and video files are located and can be downloaded safely.