Airport tax fear for Bristol boss


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Bristol Airport fears the regional travel industry could be significantly damaged if Wales is given the power to set its own air travel tax limits.

The Government sets air passenger duty (APD) for the whole of the UK, but is considering devolving that power to the Welsh Government.

That decision could be made within the coming weeks and Bristol Airport chiefs fear it could have a big impact.

The Welsh Government has previously handed financial boosts to Cardiff Airport and Bristol’s bosses are worried APD could be scrapped in Wales, meaning passengers flying from the Lulsgate site would have to pay more tax than those on the other side of the Severn Bridge.

Robert Sinclair, chief executive of Bristol Airport, said: “If this tax is devolved to Wales and scrapped, we will be put at a significant commercial disadvantage to Cardiff Airport, which is owned by the Welsh Government and less than 100km away from Bristol Airport.

“Even if limited to long-haul flights, there would be a significant impact on more than 100,000 passengers who use European hubs and it would jeopardise plans to launch direct long-haul flights in the near future.

“We expect competition in the aviation industry, but that competition needs to be on a level playing field.”