Many airport security checks are useless and Britain should stop “kowtowing” to the US, says the chairman of British Airways (BA).

Outspoken BA head Martin Broughton told the annual conference of the UK Airport Operators Association that security measures such as asking passengers to remove their shoes or have their laptops checked separately are “redundant” and should be scrapped.

Broughton continued that officials should not “kowtow to the Americans every time they wanted something done” especially over security checks they do not impose on their own domestic routes.

The BA chairman said: “America does not do internally a lot of the things they demand that we do. 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’.

“We all know there’s quite a number of elements in the security programme which are completely redundant and they should be sorted out.”

Broughton pointed out that many of the checks, such as making passengers remove their footwear, are not required on internal US flights.

Meanwhile, Sky News reported that the Department for Transport is working on a new airport security framework and more details would emerge in the coming months.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: “I intend to develop a new regulatory system – one that frees up operators to devise the security processes needed to deliver them in line with EU requirements.”

– Frankie Mullin