UK Airports respond to confirmation of 2013 Air Passenger Duty rise

The Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade body which represents UK airports, has responded to confirmation in today’s Budget that Air Passenger Duty (APD) is set to rise again from 1 April 2013.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the AOA, said: “These year-on-year rises in APD are fundamentally damaging to the UK’s global competitiveness. The recent World Economic Forum statistics showed we are now 139th out of 140 countries in the world for ticket taxes and airport charges (only Chad is placed lower), and our eye-wateringly high levels of APD already mean we pay the highest passenger tax on flying in the world – and this is not disputed by anyone in Government. Only a handful of countries in the EU tax passengers on their international air travel at all – today’s announcement makes the UK even more internationally uncompetitive.”

For further information please contact Tim Alderslade on 0207 340 0992 or


Notes to Editors:

  • APD has increased between 160% and 360% (depending on flight distance) in the UK since 2007 and its top rate is 8.5 times the average of those other countries in Europe which still levy a charge. Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark have all abandoned their aviation taxes, citing the negative effects on their economies.
  • The overall APD tax take increased significantly on 1st April 2012, after the Government implemented an 8% APD increase.
  • Further rises are planned to take effect from 1st April 2013.
  • The Office for Budget Responsibility says that APD revenue is projected to collect £3.9bn in 2016/17.
  • In the longer-term, analysis shows that the UK economy will forego £750m of wealth and 18,000 jobs due to the recent rises in APD (November 2010), with around half the extra revenue raised offset by tax revenue losses in the wider economy (source Oxera, 2009).
  • By the Department for Transport’s own figures, aviation taxes exceed the sector’s environmental costs by over half a billion pounds every year.

Airport Operators Association: The AOA is the trade association that represents UK airports. Its mission is to see UK airports grow sustainably. It represents the views of UK airports to Government, Parliament and Regulators to secure policy outcomes that help deliver our mission. The AOA represents some 70 UK airports and general aviation airfields in the UK. For more information, please visit