Regional airports demand end to ‘blanket’ APD

Regional airports demand end to ‘blanket’ APD

A tax on the busiest airports in place of blanket Air Passenger Duty charges should be imposed, according to regional airports.

A group of airports today signed a joint letter urging the government to revise aviation taxes in recognition that APD has a “damaging and disproportionate” impact on the regions across the UK.

They are due to submit a detailed response to a government consultation on reform of APD highlighting the impact that the current aviation taxation system has on their business.

It highlights serious concerns over the prospect of ‘double taxation’ and further increases in flying taxes when aviation enters the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2012.
Regional airports are proposing the government abandons a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to aviation taxes and replace it with a charge on the busiest airports, as defined by ACL, the recognised UK slot co-ordination authority.

They argue the tax disproportionately affects airports outside of Heathrow and Gatwick and that regional airports have been hit hardest by the economic downturn. Without decisive action, the gap between the largest London airports and those in the regions will go on increasing.

Craig Richmond chief executive of Peel Airports, which runs airports including Liverpool John Lennon, said: “Reform of the current APD is essential to help UK airports be more competitive against our European rivals and to stimulate passenger demand during what continues to be one of the most challenging economic environments that our industry has ever experienced.
“If the Government is committed to constraining the growth of the congested London airports and prefers to see regional airports take up this capacity, then the proposal put forward by a number of regional airports including Liverpool, to replace APD with a charge on the busiest airports need to be seriously considered.”


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