2 MARCH 2015


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Article from BTNews 2 MARCH 2015

Transport Select Committee

The House of Commons Transport Committee held its final session of its smaller airports inquiry last Monday.   This comes on the back of the independent report by the General Aviation Red Tape Challenge Panel last June which recommended the Government should develop policies to sustain a network of UK airfields to facilitate connectivity by other than commercial air services. 

For many in the peripheral parts of the UK, like the Highlands and Islands, air services are the only viable means of guaranteeing access to essential services, yet have been ignored by successive Governments.  This is the accepted view of the general aviation community.

On the stand was Robert Goodwill MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Transport and Benjamin Smith from the Department for Transport. 

Mr Goodwill was misinformed on APD (as on other matters). Passengers pay the tax on the ticket destination, and not an intermediate airport.   He blamed the EU on the fact that passengers have to pay APD twice on a day trip between London and Scotland.  He did say that the Government wanted good air links between the Provinces’ and London.  Manston Airport, now closed, and never a meaningful scheduled service airport, seemed to take up a great deal of the committee’s time.  

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