Airport bosses’ plea for change over tax

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THE boss of Leeds-Bradford Airport has co-signed a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne demanding a change to the UK’s airport taxes system.

John Parkin, the airport’s chief executive officer, has joined the leaders of other regional airports to demand action.

They have sent an open letter to the Chancellor which says the current system is unfair.

Mr Parkin has co-signed the letter along with Paul Kehoe (Birmingham Airport), Robert Sinclair (Bristol), Iain Cochrane (Glasgow Prestwick), Charlie Cornish (Manchester), Charles Buchanan (Manston in Kent), David Laws (Newcastle) and Craig Richmond (Peel Airports).

The letter welcomes the Government’s consultation on Air Passenger Duty and says it is an opportunity to end the current system of aviation taxes and bring in a charge on the busiest airports instead.

The letter says: “Air Passenger Duty is now at a level which is by far the highest in the world, with taxes of up to £170 per flight making it incredibly difficult for us to attract airlines to commence new services. That’s not just bad news for air travellers, it’s bad news for jobs, inward investment and wealth creation in the regions we serve.”

The airport bosses say that the tax affects regional airports more severely, the same airports which have been “hit the hardest” by the economic decline. The letter says: “Without decisive action, the gap between the largest London airports and those in the regions will go on increasing.”

The letter calls for the Government to offer incentives to airlines to move out of London, making them pay a premium if they want to fly from the capital.

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