Doncaster Sheffield Robin Airport bosses call for tax duty rethink

Tax: Craig Richmond.
Tax: Craig Richmond.
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BOSSES at Robin Hood Airport are calling on the Government to ditch rises in airport taxes which they fear will hit their trade.

Officials at the site in Finningley believe regional airports like Doncaster’s will be hit harder than those in and around London by the changes to Air Passenger Duty. They have signed a joint letter with other regional airports calling on ministers to alter their plans.

Airport owners Peel Airports are due to submit a detailed response to an HM Treasury consultation on Reform of Air Passenger Duty highlighting the impact that the current aviation taxation system has on its business.

It raises concerns over the prospect of ‘double taxation’ and further increases in flying taxes when aviation enters the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2012.

Craig Richmond, chief executive of Peel Airports, said: “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 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 Doncaster Sheffield, to replace APD with a charge on the busiest airports need to be seriously considered.”

A Treasury spokesman said: “The Government launched a consultation on Air Passenger Duty at this year’s Budget to achieve a tax system for aviation that is fair, simple, and efficient.

“The Government has made clear that any restructuring of APD will be achieved on a revenue neutral basis. The Government will consider the views and evidence submitted by interested parties and will publish a summary of responses in the autumn.”

He said the duty in the UK is already up to 8.5 times more than the European average.