Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Airport Chiefs Call for Air Tax Fairness

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Airport Chiefs Call for Air Tax Fairness

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE HUGHES

DURHAM Tees Valley Airport is part of a national campaign urging the Government to revise aviation taxes which are crippling regional airports.

Airport owners Peel Airports is due to submit its detailed response to an HM Treasury consultation on Reform of Air Passenger Duty later this week highlighting the impact that the current aviation taxation system has on its business and serious concerns over the prospect of 'double taxation' and further increases in flying taxes when aviation enters the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2012.

As part of this response, a group of regional airports have told Chancellor George Osborne that the Government must abandon the 'one-size-fits-all' approach to aviation taxes and replace it with a charge on the busiest airports, as defined by ACL, the recognised UK slot coordination authority.

Craig Richmond, CEO of Peel Airports, commented: "Reform of the current APD is essential to help UK airports be more competitive against our European rivals and to stimulate passenger demand during what continues to be one of the most challenging economic environments that our industry has ever experienced.

"If the Government is committed to constraining the growth of the congested London airports and prefers to see regional airports take up this capacity, then the proposal put forward by a number of regional airports, including Durham Tees Valley, to replace APD with a charge on the busiest airports need to be seriously considered."

The region's Chamber of Commerce says APD is stifling potential new air routes from the North-east and placing connections to international markets in jeopardy. The Chamber is calling on the Government to consider the vital role that regional airports play in economic growth as the consultation ends today.

In a strongly worded letter sent as part of the APD consultation, James Ramsbotham, chief executive of NECC, says that regional airports, such as Newcastle, facilitate international business links as well as trade, both of which are essential elements in rebalancing the UK economy - a key Government aim. …

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