Three of Scotland’s largest airports have joined forces in calls to ask for Air Passenger Duty (APD) to be devolved to the Scottish government.
A joint statement has been submitted to the Smith Commission by Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports to make the case of transferring APD to the Scottish government.
It has pushed the move as it would allow the tax to be reduced and eventually scrapped.
Current APD levels, which have more than doubled since 2007, are thought to cost Scotland more than two million passengers and £210m in lost tourism spend a year.
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport said: “If Scotland is to attract and sustain the routes that will enable it to compete effectively in the global marketplace then it is imperative the issue of APD is addressed. It is a significant barrier to growth and it also makes it extremely challenging to maintain our existing routes.”
Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport added: “Scotland’s airports unanimously agree that air passenger duty is hugely damaging to our industry. Following a year of unprecedented success and attention for Scotland it would be foolish not to harness this opportunity to deliver a tremendous boost to our country’s tourism industry. We shouldn’t wait for another two years of negotiations to end when we have the opportunity to devolve APD to Scotland now and have immediate control over its reduction and future abolition.”
In the recent referendum both the Yes and No campaigns pledged to reduce and abolish APD in Scotland as part of their proposals.
“It says a lot about an issue when there is near-political agreement on the subject across a number of parties, as well as support from the public and from businesses. The calls to completely reform this tax regime have been growing steadily louder over the years and are now almost unanimous north of the border,” said Aberdeen Airport’s managing director Carol Benzie.