Transport secretary Philip Hammond has indicated that he may be prepared to alter regulations on security checks at UK airports.
His comments came after British Airways chairman Martin Broughton condemned many of the measures as “completely redundant”.
Hammond told the BBC he would be allowing airlines to look at ways of “easing the passenger experience”.
He said the government would give airport operators permission to look at the way they carry out security procedures through changing the regulations.
BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said passenger safety was paramount but admitted security checks could be better organised.
“We could do a better job if we could redesign it with the end in mind and have a single coherent process,” he said.
“It would be much better, too, if passengers weren’t confused by having different arrangements at both ends of the journey.”
BARUK chief Mike Carrivick added: “Every time there is a new security scare, an extra layer is added on to procedures.
“We need to step back and have a look at the whole situation. Standards change fairly regularly and this puts pressure on airports and airlines. We need to decide what we are trying to do and how best to do it.”