Airport check-in procedures 'need to be rationalised'
The UK aviation industry has backed the views of British Airways chairman Martin Broughton that airport security checks need overhauling.
Mr Broughton said some parts of the security programme were "completely redundant" and that the UK should not "kowtow" to the Americans every time the US wanted something done.
Mike Carrivick, chief executive of BAR UK, which represents more than 80 scheduled airlines in the UK, said the whole question of airport security needs to be looked at.
Speaking at the annual conference of the UK Airport Operators Association in London, Mr Broughton said that people should not be forced to take off their shoes and have their laptops checked separately in security lines.
He added that there was no need to "kowtow to the Americans every time they wanted something done", especially when this involved checks the US did not impose on its own domestic routes.
The US stepped up security in January in the wake of an alleged bomb plot.
It introduced tougher screening rules, including body pat-down searches and carry-on baggage checks, for passengers arriving from 14 nations which the authorities consider a security risk. Passengers from any foreign country also face random checks.
Mr Carrivick said: "There seems to be a layered approach to security at airports. 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."
Colin Matthews, chief executive of airport operator BAA, spoke of "rationalising" security procedures, while former security minister Lord West said airport checks were "onerous" and had gone too far.