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APD shoots UK tourism in the foot.

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APD shoots UK tourism in the foot.

Old 28th Jul 2011, 18:10
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APD shoots UK tourism in the foot.

With the closure of PLH to pax flights today,it looks like another case of APD shooting UK tourism in the foot.

I have no gripe with the reasons for APD (well, it would be nice to see some hypothecation to environmental projects) - but because past & present UK governments have chosen to bring it up, whilst goverments across Europe have brought it down or scrapped it, there is a huge imbalance between passengers taking UK domestic flights (get stung twice) and those who are exporting their pounds to spend in other countries.

I understand that the govt can't just halve APD for domestic routes, as that would set the EU onto us quick-smart - although iirc, other countries apply VAT on domestic flights instead of APD. Would that be a fairer tax, as it would be proportional to the cost of the ticket? Failing that, is there any mechanism to charge an 'arrival fee' on inbound international legs - or could that only be done by issuing visas on arrival, clearly a non-starter?
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Old 28th Jul 2011, 18:37
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In Wales, the Assembly may have devolved powers over it in the future, which would aid the Welsh aviation sector. In England unless people appeal i think its there to stay !
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Old 28th Jul 2011, 19:23
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which would aid the Welsh aviation sector
I think its far more than aid with APD that is required.
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Old 28th Jul 2011, 19:43
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In Wales, the Assembly may have devolved powers over it in the future, which would aid the Welsh aviation sector. In England unless people appeal i think its there to stay !
How can it be here to stay if it's not even here yet?

Devolving apd powers is one option being considered by the UK Treasury.

It may well not happen but the Bristol Airport management has pointed out how uneven apd rates across the UK could distort the market.
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Old 28th Jul 2011, 20:17
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APD didn't kill off PLH. It's skid pan of a runway killed it off and the greed of it's owners killed it off.
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Old 28th Jul 2011, 20:47
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Is Plymouth in Wales?

As JSCL has indicated, since PLH was transformed, by Bill Bryce (RIP), from a three grass runway'd field in to a one and a half skid pan'd airfield it has been developed (only) to serve a home based carrier with just the occasional visitor.

An airport that only has half or, at best, two thirds of a runway is never going to make it in to the premier division, it's done well to survive as long as it has but it's closure has got diddly squat to do with APD.
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Old 28th Jul 2011, 22:08
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Blimey. It got killed twice

That is clearly going to be very difficult to come back from, I've only ever heard of it being done once.
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Old 28th Jul 2011, 23:05
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Is Plymouth in Wales?

No its not but it surely would have got more help from having a strong assembly. Plymouth is totally forgotten by Westminster and suffers horendously from policies which favour the South East of England. Time for a return of the ancient kingdom of West Wales me thinks
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Old 29th Jul 2011, 08:05
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Was it APD, a lack of strong assembly, being totally forgotten by Westminster etc. that killed off Portsmouth Airport, Lymphe Airport, Ipswich Airport and Sheffield Airport to name but a few?
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Old 29th Jul 2011, 09:43
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No of course not, what a stupid thing to say
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Old 29th Jul 2011, 15:33
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Think it was the 2 aircraft that crashed on the 15th of August 1967 at Portsmouth that killed it off...Like PLH it was nothing more than a skid pan
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Old 29th Jul 2011, 15:58
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I know the closure of PLH isn't just about APD - combining flights with NQY never made much sense imho - but paying two sets of APD on domestic flights can't help when most of your routes are domestic.

Today is also the closure of consultation on High Speed Rail - billed as a way of transferring pax from air to rail, but this modal shift has already occured on LON-MAN, especially with LCY-MAN going.

For London - LPL / MAN / LBA / NCL, rail is already a good alternative to air (where air routes remain). But APD is billed as a 'green' tax, which would be fine if it was an incentive to switch from air to rail - AND the rail infrastructure was already built, not a consultation!

Airports in NI are also doubly discriminated against because there is no feasable rail alternative across the Irish Sea, and because the Irish eqv is so much lower.

UK govt will never scrap APD - we know that, but is there a way they can stop the way UK domestic routes get such a rough deal?
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Old 29th Jul 2011, 17:18
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The consultation on reform of APD ended on the 17th of June, there are various options up for consideration all which are broadly considered to be revenue and Co2 neutral !!

In amongst the detail is to consider the regions out of London (LHR LGW LTN STN) at a lower rate than those within, this they think would push passengers to use regional airports that are not as busy as London airports, it also gives consideration to devolving powers to NI,Scotland & the Welsh assembly

The real problem here is that any APD should be standard across Europe for starters.

If CWL had the power to set zero, what would BRS do? if BRS moved to zero, what about BHX? & EMA? NI is much easier and to a lesser extent so Scotland, but we run the real risk of England paying APD (along with uni fee's, prescription charges and care home fee's) but the rest of the Country doing its own thing!! hardly fair or equitable??
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Old 29th Jul 2011, 18:16
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I don't hold with the given reasons for APD, but if there's to be an "environmental" excuse it would seem reasonable to raise the seat-capacity threshold a little, say to 50 or 70 seats. This would effectively exempt the supposedly cleaner, less damaging turbo-props and would/might encourage more use of regional airports, either delivering passengers into a major hub for their holiday flights or with low-frequency direct flights to "business" destinations.

A correlation with passenger numbers would also be beneficial, helping to slow down an airport's growth as it nears saturation and conveniently avoiding the need for second or third runways = happy ecofolk! The airlines would then have an incentive to build up services from "underused" airports and individual airports (and local authorities) would have an incentive to invest in a quality "passenger experience", including the interface with other modes of transport.

I missed the deadline for contributions to the reform consultation.
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Old 10th Aug 2011, 02:49
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CR,

I don't hold with the given reasons for APD, but if there's to be an "environmental" excuse it would seem reasonable to raise the seat-capacity threshold a little, say to 50 or 70 seats. This would effectively exempt the supposedly cleaner, less damaging turbo-props.
I think those claims are based on the outputs of the whole plane - that certainly seems to be Flybe's noise argument. I don't think it really holds when you look at output per passenger - every airline from BE (Q400s + E195s) to U2 (A319s) to FR (B738s) claims to be greenest.

I suspect they all have certain claims to make - based on routes, loads etc.

Sticking to the domestic argument - FR have all but retracted from this market, I think MOL put the blame more on fuel costs than APD.

BE's Q400s may well have lower overal outputs if they create less radiative forcing - still a lot of debate on that one, don't think airlines want to accept it.

and would/might encourage more use of regional airports, either delivering passengers into a major hub for their holiday flights or with low-frequency direct flights to "business" destinations.
Any kind of hub-spoke is inefficient - especially a short jump when the journey can be covered by land (eg GLA feeding into MAN). It is accepted on longer haul and some European markets where the hub gives access to many more destinations, but the holiday market is always going to be primarily about point-to-point services to the most popular spots.

Biz pax want frequency - why it is hard to establish routes from BHX when it is close to LHR. Leisure pax can fill up seats to make some routes viable - essentially key business cities like MAD or BER, which also have diverse cultural attractions - but neither at @ BHX! To be honest, I've been very disappointed with the lack of interesting new routes from BE, considering the flexibility their smaller fleet should give them.

individual airports (and local authorities) would have an incentive to invest in a quality "passenger experience", including the interface with other modes of transport.
Unfortunately, that needs volume to pay for it - just look at the funding issues with the GLA rail link - even if the cost for a tiny section of track was extortionate!
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Old 10th Aug 2011, 17:26
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I fear the recent actions of yobs, thugs and general riff-raff has done more to harm UK tourism than doubling the APD is likely to achieve.
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