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Commenting on the publication of a report, commissioned by BAA’s three Scottish airports, that Air Passenger Duty could cost Scottish airports over one million passengers over the next three years, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Air Passenger Duty is a tax which unfairly hits Scotland because of our geography. Not only do we rely on air transport for international travel, we also depend upon it for domestic journeys, with six million out of seven million passenger journeys between Scotland and London each year being made by aircraft. When compared with other parts of the UK, this makes Scottish travellers an easy target for this tax.

“We believe that Air Passenger Duty should be ultimately be devolved to the Scottish Parliament but in the meantime a regional variation should be applied to this tax in order to mitigate its impact on travellers using Scottish airports.

“The Scottish Government should also be acting to find a replacement for the Route Development Fund, which was successful in boosting the number of direct air services between Scotland and key destinations throughout the globe. Other EU nations, such as Cyprus, have shown that a route marketing fund can be made to work under European state aid rules and it is time that Scotland renewed this drive towards international connectivity.

“A connected economy is a successful economy, and Scotland must act now to maximise our future prospects.”