The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on the UK to abolish Air Passenger Duty (APD) to ensure the aviation industry remains competitive in the future.
According to IATA, the UK ranks last out of 148 nations for the level of passenger and airport charges and taxes.
A report launched by the trade organization, entitled United Kingdom Air Transport Regulatory Competitiveness Indicators, recommends the reduction or abolition of APD to increase the viability of new connections and industry growth.
If the industry is not nurtured, as many as 120,000 jobs could be lost
“As an island, the UK is uniquely dependent on air transport in order to connect itself to the world. It is no coincidence that the UK ranks very highly for the strength of its route network,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe.
“This network—and the 1.6 million jobs that depend on aviation—cannot be taken for granted.”
“If the industry is not nurtured, as many as 120,000 jobs could be lost. On the other hand, the tremendous economic and social benefits of aviation could be enhanced if the government adopts policies to strengthen the industry’s competitiveness.
“The chief priorities must be to increase airport capacity, cut APD, the world’s highest air passenger tax, and improve the visa and border process.”
IATA’s report also calls for cost-effective development of additional airport capacity in the South East of England, with London Heathrow and Gatwick operating at almost full capacity.