SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is under pressure from Scotland’s major airports to deliver the promised abolition of air passenger duty.

Chief executives from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen airports have signed a joint letter to the First Minister urging her to commit to reducing APD by 50 per cent by April 2018 and warned against a cut in the form of a phased introduction.

Last year, the government confirmed the decision to devolve power to charge APD to the Scottish Parliament. It follows plans to devolve financial, tax and other powers to Scotland after the ‘no’ vote in the 2014 vote on independence.

Independent research commissioned by Edinburgh airport found that a 50 per cent cut in APD would generate an additional 4,000 jobs and boost Scottish economy by around £1 billion.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport said: “We would urge the Scottish Government to implement its promised 50% cut in APD as soon as possible.

“The longer this regressive tax is in place, the longer it will damage Scotland’s economy, our tourism potential and our ability to prosper as a nation. This is something which has also been recognised by our business and tourism partners.”

Carol Benzie, managing director of Aberdeen International Airport said: “It is vital that the Scottish Government makes progress on this policy as a matter of urgency to ensure that the north east of Scotland can make a swift recovery, that our tourism industry can continue to flourish and that those who are eager to travel in and from Scotland are not unfairly penalised by the highest air passenger tax in the world.”

Scottish Chambers of Commerce chief executive, Liz Cameron added: “Air Passenger Duty is a tax on Scotland’s connectivity and a tax on international trade.

“The UK is currently one of the few European countries to apply a tax on air travel and it does so at a very high rate. 

“Devolution of APD therefore gives Scotland the opportunity to boost our competitiveness by decisively reducing the impact of this tax by 50%. Doing so would make Scotland an even more attractive to do business and the sooner this tax is cut, the better.”

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