Manchester Airport: Air rage and disorder doubled since 2014

Police attend plane Image copyright Dave Illingworth
Image caption Police boarded aircraft at Manchester Airport 159 times in 2016, with 52 people being arrested

Incidents of air rage and disorder at Manchester Airport have more than doubled in the last three years, figures obtained by the BBC show.

Police boarded aircraft 159 times last year, 110 times in 2015, and 73 times in 2014, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request revealed.

More than half the incidents last year involved people who were intoxicated.

A total of 116 people were stopped from boarding a plane at the airport in 2016, with 52 people being arrested.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said dealing with disruptive passengers was "a priority".

The force said that while it had not witnessed an increase in anti-social behaviour at the airport, a year-on-year rise in the number of "un-boarded" passengers followed a "growing confidence" from people and airlines in reporting problematic passengers.

Image copyright Ailsa Illingworth
Image caption Two stag party groups heading for Prague were removed from a Jet2 plane in April after being "loud" and "disruptive", passengers said

GMP said it takes a "robust approach" to all reports of disruption in order to ensure the safety of others and airline staff.

The number of arrests have reduced over the last three years with 69 people arrested in 2014, 53 in 2015 and 52 last year, the figures showed.

Air rage and disorder in numbers

Manchester Airport incidents in 2016


incidents of air rage or disorder where police officers boarded aircraft

  • 116 saw people prevented from boarding

  • 82 involved intoxicated passengers

  • 20 involved physical assaults

  • 52 arrests made

Press Association

Adam Jupp, Manchester Airport's head of external affairs, said of the 27 million people passing through the airport every year disruptive passengers were "a minority".

"People are now prepared to stand up and report [this behaviour]... If someone is behaving in a disorderly way we will be able to stop them boarding the aircraft and ruining the experience for others.

"We're very clear one incident is too many... The vast majority of people are capable of drinking [alcohol] in a positive and non-disruptive way. Alcohol isn't always at the root of this behaviour."

A football-style warning system is operated by GMP, Mr Jupp explained.

If someone is identified as potentially causing disruption they are given a yellow card and monitored.

If things escalate they are handed a red card and stopped from flying.

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