Policy actions  4 of 6

Air Departure Tax

Air Departure Tax (ADT) is Scotland's planned replacement for Air Passenger Duty, which is a tax on all eligible passengers leaving UK airports.

Air Passenger Duty was devolved by the Scotland Act 2016, enabling us to make our own arrangements for the design and collection of its replacement, ADT. The Air Departure Tax (Scotland) Act 2017 made provision for such a tax.

ADT policy and engagement

Following the updated advice from the UK Committee on Climate Change – and the new 2045 target for net-zero emissions proposed as a result – we have come to the conclusion that the economic benefits we had sought through our policy of reducing ADT are not compatible with our new emissions targets. Promoting connectivity, tourism and investment are priorities for the Scottish Government, which we will continue to support.

We remain committed to taking on the power. The UK Government and Scottish Government have agreed that introduction of ADT will be deferred beyond April 2020 to ensure it is not devolved in a defective state. A solution has to be found to the Highlands and Islands exemption before the tax can be taken on to protect rural communities .

We will continue to work with the UK Government to find a solution. The UK Government will maintain the application of Air Passenger Duty in Scotland in the interim.

Consultations and reports

Between March and June 2016, we carried out a first phase of two public consultations on a Scottish APD replacement tax: one on the structure and operation of the policy, and another on the initial findings, scope and methodology of the strategic environmental assessment for the policy.

Between June and September 2017, we carried out a second phase of two public consultations on the 50% reduction and environmental report for ADT.

During the passage of the Air Departure Tax Bill, we committed to conducting and publishing a range of assessments on ADT. Transport Scotland commissioned:

We will use these reports to inform our decisions on the final tax bands and rate amounts for ADT that will be set in secondary legislation and laid before the Scottish Parliament.

Stakeholder engagement

We set up the ADT Stakeholder Forum in August 2015 to help inform the ADT policy and legislative proposals.

We set up the ADT Highlands and Islands Working Group in May 2018 to develop a joint understanding of the issues and the importance of the current exemption to Highlands and Islands business and residents, and to explore solutions to deliver the best possible outcome for the Highlands and Islands.