Air passenger duty soared well beyond £3bn last year
Passengers paid over £3bn in air passenger duty (APD) last year, according to official figures.
The total of £3.17bn for the airport departure tax for 2014/15 was 5.2% more than in 2013/14, the HM Revenue and Customs' statistics highlighted by airline body the British Air Transport Association (Bata) showed.
Bata said the Office for Budget Responsibility estimated the take from APD will increase by a further £500m during the next Parliament, despite the tax being abolished for under-12s from this Friday and from under-16s from March 2016.
Airports in Northern Ireland have campaigned for the £13 APD on short-haul flights from the region to be abolished as they are in competition with Dublin Airport, where all APD has been abolished.
Bata added that by 2019/20, APD was forecast to raise £3.7bn a year - more than beer and cider duties (£3.6bn) and the TV licence fee (£3.3bn).
It said that the total number of passengers paying APD last year was 105.9m - 1.5m fewer than in the pre-financial crisis peak year of 2007.