O’Leary calls for calm over airport measures

THE Yemeni cargo plane bomb plot should not be allowed to silence calls for an easing of “ludicrous and useless” airport security measures, the boss of budget airline Ryanair said yesterday.

It was ridiculous that the Yemeni incident had prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to attend a Cobra security meeting, added Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary.

He said it was “madness” that “some Yemeni terrorist” could disrupt Western aviation.

At a media briefing in London, O’Leary said: “Every time we have a terrorist scare, the first thing that goes out the window is common sense.

“I am not quite sure why the Prime Minister is meeting with Cobra. He is meeting with people who have already introduced utterly ineffectual aviation security measures.

“We in the aviation industry are all for effective security measures such as taking knives off passengers, but we are all opposed to ludicrous and ineffective measures.”

Asked what kind of checks he would introduce at airports if he was in charge of security, O’Leary said he would allow passengers to take items such as lipstick and water bottles as hand luggage.

“We would screen passengers for such items as bombs, knives, guns and machetes,” he said.

Last week, before the Yemeni incident, British Airways chairman Martin Broughton had called for an easing of airport security measures, an appeal which struck a chord with other aviation bosses.

O’Leary said yesterday he agreed with r Broughton some security measures were unnecessary.

He added: “Everyone should calm down.

“People do need to keep some sort of balance and some sort of realism.”

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