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EXCESSIVE passenger screening at airports is a step too far and is only adding to passenger misery, a major airline boss has said.BA chairman Martin Broughton said measures such as forcing passengers to take off shoes and separate checks of laptop bags were redundant and unnecessary.

His comments come as the United States is making excessive demands for the screening of airline passengers, including measures it doesn't require on US domestic flights, the Financial Times reported.

Mr Broughton aired his complaint on Tuesday at the annual conference of the UK Airport Operators Association where he said it was time other countries, such as Britain, stopped kowtowing to America's beefed-up security demands.

Australian passengers flying domestically and internationally are forced to remove laptops from bags and in some cases shoes.

British Airways said the report was accurate, but it did not have a text of the chairman's remarks.

"America does not do internally a lot of the things they demand that we do," Mr Broughton was quoted as saying.

"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.'"

Mr Broughton added that British authorities should not "kowtow to the Americans every time they wanted something done."

"We all know there's quite a number of elements in the security program which are completely redundant and they should be sorted out," he was quoted as saying.

"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."

Colin Matthews, chief executive of BAA PLC, which owns Heathrow airport, says security is subject to regulations set by US, European and domestic authorities.

"There are some aspects which have been frustrating to everyone, but equally everyone understands we have to keep the passenger safe," Mr Matthews told the BBC.

But Alan West, the security minister in the previous British government, supported Mr Broughton's complaint and said a multinational agreement could make the checks "much less onerous".

"We have had requirement on requirement laid on top of each other, and certainly I need to be convinced about all these various layers," Mr West told the BBC.

"I do think it does need to be rationalised, because I think we have gone too far. There are too many layers, too much inconsistency."
America's Transportation Security Administration did not directly respond to Mr Broughton's demands to scrap excessive measures.

But a statement by the organisation said it worked with all international airlines to ensure passenger safety.

In other words, they'll continue with their own slack regulations and checks of their own people, allow another underwear idiot to board a plane, then freak out, add more stupid hoops to jump through and then demand everybody else in the world adopt another pointless procedure the US won't even bother to enforce themselves.

Cuz those body scanners that zap your body full of T-Rays has been so useful, especially after an Israeli security expert tested them himself at airports and found he could not only fool the scanners, but could easily get through security with a dangerous item.

Israeli Security Expert to Canada: 'Full Body Scanners Useless'
www.israelnationalnews.com/News/news.aspx/137184 (external - login to view)