UK airports response to Air Passenger Duty devolution legislation

Responding to the publication of draft legislation that will grant powers to the Scottish Government to levy Air Passenger Duty, Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association, the trade association representing 55 UK airports, said:

“Given the long-stated ambition of the Scottish Government to reduce APD by 50% in the short-term, to be followed by eventual abolition, the Smith Commission’s proposals have far-reaching consequences for airports across the UK. It is of course a matter for the Scottish Government to decide whether to reduce APD for passengers travelling out of their respective airports, once they are granted the necessary powers, and they should be commended for taking the view that they will ultimately be better off without this damaging tax. However, in the interests of fairness it cannot be right that one part of the UK is able to levy a substantially reduced rate of APD compared to other areas, thus disadvantaging not only our airport members but companies and travellers too.

“We continue to take the view that a cut anywhere should be matched, immediately, by a cut everywhere. We respectively call upon the main UK political parties to work together to publish a plan, before the general election, setting out how this will be delivered.”