The Scottish parliament has introduced a bill to establish the tax which will replace Air Passenger Duty.
The Air Departure Tax (Scotland) Bill sets out how the new, devolved powers will be used but does not go into detail on rates.
The government in Scotland will take control of the air tax from April 2018.
The bill would mean it could “progress plans” to deliver “in full” a 50% reduction by the end of the current parliament.
It added that the tax would be abolished entirely “when finances allow”.
The Bill will sets out that Revenue Scotland will be the authority responsible for the collection and management of the tax, after the existing APD regime no longer applies in Scotland.
The name of the levy has been changed to Air Departure Tax to avoid confusion with Air Passenger Duty, which will continue to operate in the rest of the UK after April 1, 2018.
Scotland’s finance secretary Derek Mackay said: “This bill is a key milestone in making sure Scotland remains an attractive destination for business and tourists alike.
“By reducing the burden of Air Departure Tax by 50% and then entirely when finances allow, we have the potential to open up new air routes, improve our international connectivity and help Scotland access key and emerging markets, while giving due consideration to environmental issues.
“While setting out our overall ambitions for this important new tax, we want to take this opportunity to hear the views of the Parliament and of stakeholders on the detail.
“In the light of the economic uncertainty caused by the outcome of the EU referendum, it is even more important that we use the powers devolved to us under the Scotland Act to look at how we can boost our economy.”
Edinburgh airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “This is the beginning of a process that will bring economic growth and create jobs in Scotland.
“We welcome the commitment from the Scottish government and the support from the Scottish Conservatives in reducing Air Passenger Duty.
“We hope that other parties will back a move that will boost jobs and revenue in Scotland.”
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