Belfast Telegraph

Belfast International Airport in call for all councils to back APD move

By Claire McNeilly

Bosses at Belfast International Airport have written to councils across Northern Ireland asking them to support the abolition of APD, it has emerged.

In what is thought to be an unprecedented step, BIA's managing director has asked local government officials to support the move via a full council motion.

And, according to a letter obtained by the Belfast Telegraph, John Doran says that the tax regime covering international flights is "of particular concern".

Consequently, the suggested motion - in this case addressed to a north Antrim authority - reads: "That Ballymena Borough Council, recognising the damage caused to the economy by the current structure of APD, and the disadvantage it creates between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, calls upon the government to take steps to correct the glaring imbalances and introduce legislation to devolve APD as a tax varying power to the Northern Ireland Assembly."

A spokeswoman for BIA said the airport had taken the initiative because it has the potential to limit passenger and airline growth, hamper the development of tourism and obstruct inbound business.

The letter requests that the motion, if successful, be forwarded to HM Treasury, ahead of the consultation closing date on June 17.

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