Airport Operators Association responds to “extremely disappointing” delay to devolved APD announcement

Responding to the failure of the Government to set out how airports across the UK will not lose out as a result of any future reduction in Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Scotland or Wales, Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade association that represents 55 airports, said:

“It is extremely disappointing that the Chancellor has once again failed to provide the clarity that airports have been looking for by setting out his thinking on devolved APD. The Treasury has had eight months to take a decision on the devolution of APD to Wales – the failure to take this decision means further delay in setting out how a reduction in APD in one part of the UK will impact on airports, airlines and passengers throughout the country. How much longer do we have to wait?

“Furthermore, the EU Referendum makes it extremely unlikely that we will hear anything more on this until later in the year. Given that the Scottish Government has promised to start reducing APD north of the border in the spring of 2018, the Treasury is leaving it very late indeed to set out its own thinking. The many airports that stand to lose out as a result of the devolution process will be very unhappy with today’s delay.

“We’re also disappointed that the Treasury has not taken this opportunity to reduce the overall rate of APD so that it is no higher than that of our closest European competitors. Doing so would have resulted in more people travelling, more jobs, more business and as a result higher tax revenues for the Treasury from increased economic activity.”