Call for help over level of air duty

Brought to you by the News Post Leader.
Brought to you by the News Post Leader.

The North East should be able to set its own Air Passenger Duty (APD) level and see off a threat from north of the border, according to a regional think-tank.

Policy North has warned of ‘catastrophic’ consequences for Newcastle International Airport if it is left undefended against potential Scottish air travel tax cuts.

Following the devolution of APD, the SNP-led government wants to reduce the new Air Departure Tax (ADT) by 50 per cent, before eventually scrapping it completely.

The Scottish Parliament is expected to vote on the rate at which is the new tax is set later this year. It will be introduced on April 1, 2018.

The think-tank’s Global North report found that families could save up to £194 per person by flying from Edinburgh instead of Newcastle, with the North East airport fearing that it would lose thousands of passengers each year.

Policy North wants the Go-vernment to grant the North East special status due to its close proximity to Scotland.

Its founder and chairman, Stephen Purvis, said: “If nothing is done to support regional airports from the Scottish government’s ADT devolution, the consequences could be catastrophic.

“As well as the annual holiday rush, the risk to the North East and North as a whole is that more companies will decide to invest in Scotland because of its cheaper air travel.”