Airport Operators Association response to Budget announcement on Air Passenger Duty

Responding to the publication, as part of today’s Budget, of a discussion paper to consider further three options that have previously been put forward by the Government to “help mitigate the impacts of the devolution of Air Passenger Duty (APD) on regional airports”, Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade association that represents over 50 UK airports, said:

  • “UK airports welcome the opportunity to respond to the discussion paper on the impact of APD devolution, but we are concerned that the review simply does not go far enough. Alongside airlines, tourism groups and destinations, we were seeking a more wide-ranging review to consider the impact of the whole of the APD regime in the round, and following today’s Budget the UK remains just as 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.
  • “With the Scottish Government promising to reduce APD by 50% north of the border – and consideration also being given to devolving responsibility for APD to Wales – the only way to ensure complete fairness, without creating any distortions, is for there to be a consistent rate of APD and for any cut anywhere in the UK to be matched, immediately, by the same reduction in all parts of the country.”