Airport security checks have been labelled “redundant” by British Airways chairman Martin Broughton.
Many security measures should be scrapped, he told the annual conference of the Airport Operators Association in London.
Passengers are removing their shoes and having their laptops inspected due to pointless security checks at airports, according to Broughton.
There was no need to “kowtow to the Americans every time they wanted something done” to bolster security on flights bound for the US.
“America does not do internally a lot of the things they demand that we do,” he said. “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’.”
Many of the checks, such as making passengers remove their footwear, are not required on internal US flights, Broughton pointed out.
“We all know there’s quite a number of elements in the security programme which are completely redundant and they should be sorted out,” said Broughton.
He claimed 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 said.
Heightened security was introduced after “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.
The US heightened 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 last December.
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