EUROPE/CIS: UK enviro tax hits freighters for 1st time

The UK is proposing that aircraft rather than passengers will incur an environmental levy to encourage the aviation industry to reduce carbon emissions. The country’s air passenger duty will be replaced from November 2009 with a scheme that charges flights instead of individuals. “I propose that aviation makes a greater contribution in respect of its […]


The UK is proposing that aircraft rather than passengers will incur an environmental levy to encourage the aviation industry to reduce carbon emissions.

The country’s air passenger duty will be replaced from November 2009 with a scheme that charges flights instead of individuals.

“I propose that aviation makes a greater contribution in respect of its environmental impact and for this to be as environmentally effective as possible. From 2009, I intend to levy the duty not on individual passengers but on flights,” Chancellor Alistair Darling announced recently.

The Chancellor’s measure – which includes taxing freighter aircraft for the first time – is designed to increase pressure on airlines to improve the ratio between emissions and passengers/cargo.

It is expected that the levy will be calculated according to aircraft type so that the dirtier planes pay the most. The duty is also likely to be linked directly to the distance fl own so that the further an aircraft flies the more it will pay.

Taxing individual passengers raises£2.4 billion a year but moving to a system of taxing flights could raise£520 million more. About 40 per cent of flights are not covered by passenger tax, including freighters and private jets and passengers who transfer through British airports.