Ford hails Air Passenger Duty news but says full devolution crucial

Alliance Leader David Ford, who is MLA for the constituency in which International Airport is located, has welcomed news from Westminster’s Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Chloe Smith, that powers regarding Air Passenger Duty on direct long haul flights from Northern Ireland are being devolved. He said however that powers over APD in relation to all long haul journeys starting here, like those which begin in Belfast, and then involve a long haul flight out of an airport in Great Britain, should also be devolved to the Assembly as soon as possible.

David Ford said: “While this is welcome news, I want to see powers as regards APD for all long haul journeys which start in Northern Ireland devolved to the Assembly.

“We need to be able to address the anomaly that people here who travel from Northern Ireland airports to airports in Great Britain to take long haul flights face, which is a double whammy on APD. They face a double charge of APD and I believe that this is grossly unfair. While the announcement from Chloe Smith is good news, we need power over the full range of APD to be devolved so that we can address this anomaly.

“We will continue to campaign for the devolution of APD for all long haul journeys from Northern Ireland as we believe this is vitally important to both our tourism industry and for business here as we seek to create jobs.”


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