Demand for ‘congestion charge’ on Heathrow and Gatwick

The government should impose a “congestion charge” on Heathrow and Gatwick and introduce a differential tax regime at airports with spare capacity.

The call comes from Birmingham airport as it bids for greater share of the UK’s aviation market.

Birmingham says airports outside London should be allowed to offer a moratorium on Air Passenger Duty to new airlines in order to encourage more long-haul carriers to fly to the regions.

Responding to the government’s Draft Aviation Policy Framework, the airport is calling for efforts to incentivise airlines to establish new routes from UK airports rather than moving to foreign hubs.

Birmingham airport chief executive Paul Kehoe said: “This submission is taking the government for its word. If it is serious about making the best use of existing capacity at UK airports, it needs to balance capacity restrictions on airports in the south-east with policies that encourage airlines to use other UK airports.

“This will help re-balance the economy away from a dependence on financial services and the southeast as the sole engines of growth.

“Business leaders in the Midlands are calling out for greater long-haul connectivity from Birmingham airport.

“They know that the economic fruit of aviation doesn’t fall far from the tree. It is time for the government to branch out and pursue policies that unlock the potential of UK manufacturing.”

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