29th November, 2011
Air passenger duty rates will increase in line with inflation from April 2012, and will be extended to cover business jets, the Chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement today. The news comes after recent campaigning by a number of airlines for the tax to be scrapped. AEF strongly supports increases to APD and has highlighted the unjustified tax benefit so far enjoyed by business jets.
The Government has also today published a National Infrastructure Plan which argues that while the latest DfT analysis has downgraded forecast passenger growth to around 2% per year, beyond 2030 there will be an airport capacity challenge in the South East of England, and that the draft aviation strategy will therefore “explore all the options for maintaining the UK’s aviation hub status, with the exception of a third runway at Heathrow.” Research conducted by AEF for WWF indicates, however, that sufficient airport capacity already exists to provide for the maximum level of expansion permissible if the industry is to meet the objective of stabilising emissions at 2005 levels by 2050.