Aviation Minister Is Foggy on Air Passenger Duty

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), July 22, 2017 | Go to article overview

Aviation Minister Is Foggy on Air Passenger Duty


Byline: LAURA HILL Reporter laura.hill@trinitymirror.com @laurahillnews

AVIATION Minister Lord Callanan was unwilling to give assurances on air passenger duty at Newcastle International Airport saying he would 'see what happens in Scotland first.'.

It comes as the government yesterday unveiled plans to develop a new strategy to help shape the future of the aviation industry to 2050 and beyond.

In a series of regional launches, one took place at Newcastle International Airport where Aviation Minister Lord Callanan was quizzed about concerns over its future in the next few years.

Fears have been raised the airport could be 'left behind' after a PS1billion scheme to double the size of Manchester Airport's Terminal 2 has just got under way.

And there's the issue of Air Passenger Duty which puts PS75 on a ticket for those travelling long haul in economy class.

When asked if the Government would consider scrapping airport duty at all regional airports, Lord Callanan said the Government would be watching Scotland closely to see how the plan works out there first.

He said: "We can't predict what might happen in future budgets so let's wait to see what happens with it in Scotland first."

Newcastle Airport in particular is expected to lose out if the Scottish Government goes through with plans to halve and then abolish taxes from airports north of the border, making them cheaper to fly from.

And a review of APD in Northern Ireland is set to take place as part of the government's deal with the DUP.

When asked if the airport will be left behind, Newcastle-born Lord Callanan said: "No, not at all, we've seen the huge investment that Newcastle Airport is making in terms of the automated baggage facilities today.

"The whole point of the aviation strategy is to see how we can grow aviation across the whole country, not just the South East of England "We want to see all of the airports in the North expand and produce the new global Britain that we want to see as we leave the European Union."

He added: "Clearly there is competition and Newcastle has to compete with Edinburgh and Manchester and competition is good for the consumer. I want to see Newcastle prosper and there is no reason they can't all prosper."

When asked if the government would consider scrapping airport duty at all regional airports, Lord Callanan said the Government would be watching Scotland closely to see how the plan works out there first. …

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