A recent report by Edinburgh Airport ‘The impact of reducing APD on Scotland’s airports’ has highlighted the benefits to our airports, economy and tourism sector, a reduction of 50% in Air Passenger Duty (APD) would create. Glasgow Airport alone would be projected to receive 200,000 extra passengers a year, bring along with it countless positives for the local and national economies. This reports comes days before Glasgow Airport released figures showing that they enjoyed their busiest February in 8 years, welcoming 510,000 passengers and boosting 24 months of consecutive growth.
Speaking recently, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said, “For far too long, our airports have been working wonders but with one hand tied behind their backs. Glasgow Airport has continued to grow it passenger numbers during difficult times, but the UK Government continues to hinder our local airport further by imposing high levels of APD on each passenger that travels. Thankfully, APD looks set to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government has already confirmed that it intends to reduce APD by 50% within the next session of Parliament, with a view to eventually abolishing the tax when public finances allow.
‘Since becoming Paisley’s MSP, I have on a number of occasions spoke with Amanda McMillan, Managing Director of Glasgow Airport and APD is always high on the agenda. If we want to help our economy grow, we can’t impose regressive taxes which not only impact on the airport, but increase the costs to every one of us when travelling in search of sun, sea and sand. The devolution of APD to the Scottish Parliament really can’t come soon enough. Let’s hope whoever is 10 Downing Street after May 7th respects the Scottish people and deals with the APD issue early in their term in office.”
Speaking yesterday, the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Keith Brown said, “Over the past four or five years, I have been at meetings with all the major airports in Scotland and most of the major airlines—airlines that in other situations will sometimes be at each other’s throats in a competitive environment—and it is remarkable that they sit together and say the same thing. There would be the same benefits in Glasgow, in Edinburgh, in Aberdeen and throughout the country, and in particular there would be benefits to individuals who currently have to endure one of the highest taxes of its kind in the world.
‘Even better for the Scottish economy, we would have an increase in passengers coming to this country, many of whom, we know, have said, “We’re not going to go to the UK. We’re going to go to France.” People from South America and various other parts of the world will go to France, not least because the visa requirements are less onerous, but especially because the airport tax that is applied to them is much lower there. Let us get the tax devolved and let us get that business back.”