Frequent flyer tax plan could end the need for expansion altogether. Hacan/hacan.orguk

A Plan To End Expansion Altogether

Innovative tax plan boosts campaign against expansion

An innovative plan to replace Air Passenger Duty with a variable levy based on the number of flights taken each year would remove the need for airport expansion altogether.

HACAN is among a coalition of campaign organisations, environmentalists and trade unions calling for a new approach to taxation around flights which would prove both equitable and fair.

Revealed in the final countdown to the publication of the Airports Commission’s recommendation on airport expansion in the south east, the tax plan aims to reduce the numbers of flights taken by a minority of the population – while allowing ordinary families a tax-free flight each year.

Writing in the Observer, campaigners said: “Contrary to aviation lobby rhetoric, a new runway is not needed to allow more international business flights, which have been declining steadily since the turn of the century.

“The hub airport argument is a smokescreen. In reality, growing demand for air travel is concentrated in the short-haul leisure sector and among a small, wealthy minority of the population. It is more of these flights that a new runway will in practice service.”

Read an in-depth report into the proposals here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/20/frequent-flyer-tax-leisure-airfares

Half of the UK population do not fly at all in any given year – and 15% of the UK population take 70% of all our flights

The frequent flyer levy would come into effect on the second flight during each tax year, and increase proportionally with each flight taken thereafter.

Meanwhile, opposition to proposed expansion at Heathrow continues in the run up to the Commission’s recommendation.