December 7: FlyingMatters, the UK industry body that represents a broad coalition of those interested in supporting sustainable growth in aviation, welcomed the publication of the Government’s Transport Committee’s report The Future of Aviation.
Brian Wilson, Chairman of FlyingMatters, said: “The Committee has clearly taken a cool-headed and balanced look at the evidence and reached the conclusion – like the vast majority of the flying public – that aviation has a vital economic and social role to play in the UK and internationally.
“If we do not allow aviation in the UK to grow sensibly and sustainably we will face economic pain for no environmental gain as people simply opt to fly from Europe or elsewhere instead of the UK,” he added.
However, on the subject of the Government’s Air Passenger Duty, FlyingMatters has branded the tax as regressive and says at least 1.5million Britons would be priced out of flying. “The Committee is right to say that the environmental costs of aviation will be covered by the European Emissions Trading Scheme, but it is wrong to ignore the impact of domestic flight taxes on ordinary families,” says Wilson. “The government’s own figures show that over a million people will be priced out of flying as a result of the APD tax hikes. That burden will largely fall on ordinary families who only fly occasionally while the well off will continue to fly as much as they ever did.”
Air Passenger Duty has just increased – UK travellers to the US now pay £45, those going to the Caribbean £50 and passengers to Australia and New Zealand £55. Steeper rises come in November 2010; passengers flying to the US will pay £60, to the Caribbean £75 and Australia or New Zealand £85.