The Airport Operators Association (AOA) has expressed its great disappointment at Chancellor George Osborne's decision to proceed with a double-inflation increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD).

The AOA has been lobbying hard to persuade the Treasury to freeze – or even reduce - the level of APD. The UK already has the highest level of aviation taxes in Europe, and now that UK aviation has entered the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) the AOA has been campaigning against this 'double taxation'.

AOA chief executive Darren Caplan said: "I am dismayed that the Chancellor has gone ahead with this double inflation increase. We already have the highest aviation taxes in Europe, and this new increase will hit the tourism industry and needlessly jeopardise the recovery of the economy as a whole.

"We are an island nation and aviation connectivity is crucial to the economy – indeed, with so many sectors reliant on aviation, in some senses it IS the economy. This increase is unhelpful and unwelcome and we will be campaigning against it as the Finance Bill progresses through the Commons."

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