APD reduction welcome but further action needed to make the UK more competitive on air taxation, say UK airports

Commenting on the fact that Air Passenger Duty (APD) has today been abolished for children under the age of 12, Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade body for UK airports, said:

“The industry is obviously pleased that after so many years of campaigning against this punitive tax we have managed to secure three reductions in the space of 12 months, the latest of which is the welcome abolition of APD on children under 12. This is good news for families, holidaymakers and our all-important tourism sector, and ultimately demonstrates the importance of continuing to advocate and make our case within Government. Everybody in our sector should be doing their upmost to advertise this reduction to potential travellers.

“As welcome as this change is, however, we cannot escape the fact that overall rates of APD are increasing every year, and that the situation is having a damaging impact on our ability to export, attract investment and boost our connectivity. We continue to believe that the best course of action is for the next Government to commit to undertaking a thorough and far-reaching review of the whole APD regime, as early as possible in the next parliament, so that the twin issues of the overall rate of APD and its potential devolution to Scotland can be considered together.

“We do not believe that it is at all desirable for the next Government to potentially increase APD to record levels in some parts of the UK whilst at the same time the tax is being reduced substantially in others. This would not only be wholly unfair but also hugely distortive in terms of its impact on the UK aviation sector. We look forward to engaging with the next Government on how APD can be reduced across the board so that we have a consistent rate of the tax in all parts of the UK.”