It was great to see the joint submission by Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports to the Smith Commission calling for Air Passenger Duty (APD) to be devolved to Holyrood and eventually abolished (your report, 29 October).
This is something we have been promoting for some time as Scotland’s location means that this punitive tax is having a major impact on our competitiveness as a nation, affecting our tourism sector.
Indeed, the Scottish Government estimates that APD will cost Scotland more than £200 million a year in lost tourism spending alone in 2016 and deter more than 2 million passengers from visiting every year.
In this context it is interesting to note that when the Republic of Ireland abolished the levy in 2013 this resulted in a tourism boom with an increased number of passengers carried. Most international tourists arriving in Scotland travel via London airports, putting Scotland at a particular disadvantage since APD is paid on international flights into and out of London and on flights between London and Scottish airports.
Any attempts to reduce the rate of APD as it impacts on Scotland are to be greatly welcomed, ensuring that those flying from Scotland are not penalised and that our tourism potential as a nation is fully realised.