Police call-outs to Glasgow Airport rocket in 2017


POLICE call-outs to Glasgow Airport as a result of passenger behaviour have rocketed this year.

Officers have been called to the airport 243 times so far in 2017, easily exceeding the total for the whole of 2016 of 192.

Other Scottish airports have recorded decreases or slight increases but Glasgow – regarded as the country’s biggest “holiday” airport – is already 26% up on last year.

There have been numerous reports of drunken behaviour on flights to and from Glasgow over the summer, resulting in delays and diversions.

Ryanair called for a crackdown on alcohol sales in all British airports in August this year, claiming that airlines were becoming saddled with the issue of dealing with passengers who drank too much.

The new figures, released under Freedom of Information by Police Scotland, show incidents until 14 October this year.

Figures for Glasgow, which handles 9.4 million passengers a year, show there were 159 call outs in 2015. The figure rose to 192 the following year.

If the rate of call-outs carries on at the present level, the airport will have summoned officers to deal with unruly passengers around 310 times by the end of the year.

Glasgow Airport is Scotland’s second busiest, but takes the top spot for problem passengers

In July 2017, three passengers flying from Glasgow Airport to Alicante became drunk and disorderly, forcing the plane to make an unplanned landing at Bristol.

The trio were later arrested on suspicion of threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour towards Thomson staff.

In September of this year, two passengers’ drunken antics forced a Glasgow flight to Alicante to be delayed by three hours.

The two strangers, Derek Root, 30, and Alexander Gray, 38, were already intoxicated when they began drinking Jagermeister together on the plane.

They then became abusive to passengers and crew members. Root asked stewards if they “wanted his c**k” before Gray was sick on the floor.

Two Canadian pilots were arrested and charged by police after attempting to fly an aircraft to Toronto while drunk in July last year.

Jean-Francois Perreault, 40, and Imran Zafar Syed, 38, appeared at Paisley Sheriff Court for being over the limit on the Air Transnat flight.

Police have logged 103 incidents at Aberdeen Airport so far this year, down from 147 in last year, and 37 at Prestwick up to October 2017, and 40 in 2016.

This year’s figures for Edinburgh were not available, however last year there were 73 incidents reported in total.

From the available figures, police have been called out to Scottish airports a minimum of 1,788 times due to passenger behaviour.

A spokesman for Glasgow Airport said: “Reported incidents equate to 0.003% of our total number of passengers during this time, however, we firmly believe that one instance is one too many.

“The increase in reported incidents at Glasgow Airport is a direct result of our focus on early intervention and the zero-tolerance approach we take in tackling disruptive behaviour of any kind.

“We have absolutely no qualms in challenging disruptive behaviour, given its potential to impact on other passengers, particularly if such an incident occurs on board an aircraft.

“Through this successful approach we will continue to send a clear message to what remains a very small group of people – Glasgow Airport will not tolerate unacceptable behaviour.”

Inspector Mark Stirling, based at Glasgow Airport, said officers would “continue with our zero tolerance approach to those who would endanger the safety of passengers and airline crew”.

He added: “The rise in incidents…can be attributed to our strong focus towards early intervention and prevention.”