UK airport association urges government to reduce air passenger duty

11 June 2015 (Last Updated June 11th, 2015 18:30)

The UK Airport Operators Association (AOA) has urged the government to reduce air passenger duty (APD) ahead of the emergency budget on 8 July.

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The UK Airport Operators Association (AOA) has urged the government to reduce air passenger duty (APD) ahead of the emergency budget on 8 July.

AOA, which represents more than 50 UK airports, said that the country needs to bring down APD to be on par with airports in the neighbouring countries.

The association has also called for a detailed review of the impacts of APD on aviation, tourism and business.

APD is an excise duty levied on passengers flying from a UK or Isle of Man airport on an aircraft with an authorised take-off weight of more than 10t or more than 20 seats.

AOA CEO Darren Caplan said: "Whilst we are grateful to the Treasury for taking action in recent budgets to reduce the longest haul APD rates and abolish the tax altogether for children, we are still uncompetitive compared to our nearest European rivals who either do not levy air taxes at all, or who do so at much lower levels than in the UK.

"This is continuing to damage the UK from a tourism perspective and sends out the wrong message to the rest of the world with respect to the UK being open for business."

A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that an abolition of APD could increase the country's gross domestic product by about 0.5% in the first year and 1.7% by 2020, creating approximately 61,000 jobs.

The association also stressed on matching a reduction in APD at Scotland's airports with similar reductions in airports across the UK.

The AOA head also said that the government needed to look into the development of sustainable aviation fuels that would prove to be beneficial for the country.

"It could cut the carbon intensity of aviation fuels, reduce reliance on oil imports and boost the UK economy, potentially creating 4,400 jobs and adding £265 million to GDP by 2030." Caplan added.


Image: Reduction of the air passenger duty could create 61,000 jobs. Photo: courtesy of khunaspix / freedigitalphotos.net.