Redundant airport security checks 'should be scrapped'

British Airways chairman Martin Broughton says the UK should stop 'kowtowing' to US demands to carry out 'completely redundant' airport security checks. He makes a fair point.

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The chairman of British Airways, Martin Broughton, launched a scathing attack on airport security measures on Tuesday. Some of the checks - like removing one's shoes or having laptops screened separately - are "completely redundant" and should be scrapped, he said. Driving the point home, the UK should stop "kowtowing" to US demands, he said. "America does not do internally a lot of the things they demand that we do", he continued. He makes a fair point.

Other leaders in the industry have been quick to support him. "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," said Mike Carrivick, the chief executive of Bar UK, which represents the airline industry in the UK.

The new security measures introduced after September 11 were understandable and so was the anxiety about future attacks. But there has not been a necessary review of what has worked, what hasn't, and what is unnecessary. Layer upon layer of security has been added but not an additional level of logic to the screenings. Air travellers the world over will rejoice if airport measures are simplified and sped up.