Chief executive of Bristol Airport Robert Sinclair claims that devolving APD to Wales would have a damaging impact
Bristol Airport has welcomed the opportunity to present further evidence on what it claims would be the “detrimental effects” of devolving Air Passenger Duty (APD) to Wales as part of a review of potential options to mitigate the impact on regional airports.
It adds: “In advance of this, there will be a review of potential options to mitigate the impacts of APD devolution on regional airports. As part of this review, a discussion paper will be published by the summer examining the devolution and variation of APD rates within England, and the provision of aid for regional airports including Bristol Airport
Should Wales have devolved Air Passenger Duty powers?
Chief executive of Bristol Airport, Rob Sinclair, said: “We welcome this commitment to properly consider the implications of APD devolution on regional airports in England including options for variation of rates within England to assist regional airports such as Bristol.
“We are confident that the Government will reach the right conclusion when all the evidence is considered ensuring that regional airports are not disadvantaged by APD devolution and can play their full part in helping to rebalance the economy.
“Without similar measures for regional airports in England, devolution of APD to Wales would contradict the principle that there should be no detriment to other parts of the UK.
UK airport passenger numbers
HeathrowGatwickManchesterStanstedLutonEdinburghBirminghamGlasgowBristolCardiffAirport01020304050607080Passengers in millions
“It would simply result in the redistribution of passengers from Bristol and other English airports to Cardiff, but with no benefit to UK plc, severely distorting the open and competitive market for air travel which currently delivers choice and value for passengers.
“By not rushing into this decision on APD, the Government now has the opportunity to fully consider the significant cross-border implications that devolution of this tax would create and put in place a framework that could benefit all regions of the UK.
“We are confident that after the proper process has been followed a fair solution will be found, ending uncertainty and ensuring Bristol Airport can continue to enhance its facilities for the benefit of passengers and businesses on both sides of the border.”
Bristol has also confirmed has that coach operator National Express will commence a 12-times daily coach service between Bristol Airport and Cardiff next month
Bristol Airport served 6.3m passengers in 2014, including more than one million flying to or from Wales.