London Heathrow Airport as well as other South-East England airports may well become costlier for travellers. The government is planning to study proposals for hiking airport taxes for passengers buying their tickets with these airports and a lower tax on travel from other regions like Northern England airports. Plans are being considered for using Birmingham as a London overspill airport. The objective behind these plans is to relieve the overburdened South East England airports off some of the flight traffic. Presently, London Heathrow and other South East England airports popular for the availability of cheap flights to various destinations serve almost eighty per cent of the UK flights.
Reactions from Different Quarters
Different sections have put forth different reactions to the proposed hike. Read on for what everyone has to say.
Passengers and Regional Operators
Passengers already feel that they are being overtaxed on their tickets, especially in view of the facilities being offered at these airports. This was all the more evident when Heathrow recently failed to handle the snow situation. According to certain regional operators, uniform tax hike will prompt bigger airlines to pull out from their airports in favour of the South East England airports. Some of these big airlines are well known for their cheap flight operations.
British Airports Authority (BAA)
Since 2006, the Airport Passenger Duty (APD) has seen a more than four fold rise on air tickets. According to a BAA spokesman ‘We already have the highest aviation tax in the world in the UK and if we are looking at increasing taxes on Heathrow - the UK's only hub airport - we will simply make the country less competitive’.