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The Government is currently consulting on whether to lift the exemption enjoyed by UK international airports from requiring a premises licence to sell alcohol.

There have been regular reports of the disruption caused by passengers who are drunk on flights and it is being argued that the present regulatory arrangements and industry-led initiatives have been insufficient to tackle the issue of drunk and disruptive airline passengers.

The plan is to try and find the right balance between promoting the economic growth of the aviation industry and protecting passengers throughout their journey.

What could change under the review?

Currently, international airports in the United Kingdom do not require a premises licence to enable them to sell alcohol and passengers are able to buy alcoholic drinks, regardless of the time, prior to boarding their flights.

The introduction of premises licences at airports could regulate the hours in which alcohol was allowed to be sold and enable specific conditions to be enforced, which could assist in reducing the number of alcohol-related incidents at airports. However, this then raises concerns about reducing the attraction of UK airports for retail and leisure spending and adding unnecessary red tape, which could dilute the holiday spirit.

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