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Policy actions  3 of 5

Air Departure Tax

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

This tax was devolved by the Scotland Act 2016, enabling us to make our own arrangements for the design and collection of its replacement, ADT. We set up the ADT Stakeholder Forum to help us to design a tax that worked for everyone.

ADT policy

We aim to initially reduce the overall burden of ADT by 50%, and to abolish the tax when resources allow. We believe this will help to:

  • boost Scotland's air connectivity
  • increase Scotlan'ds economic competitiveness
  • encourage the establishment of new routes that will enhance business connectivity and inbound tourism
  • use Internationalisation to generate sustainable growth, as set out in our Economic Strategy

Date ADT will come into force

ADT's introduction in Scotland is being deferred until the issues raised in relation to the exemption for flights departing from the Highlands and Islands have been resolved, to ensure that devolved powers are not compromised. We set up the ADT Highlands and Islands Working Group to assist with working through these issues. We are also working with the UK Government to seek solutions.

Until the issues are resolved, the UK Government will maintain the application of Air Passenger Duty in Scotland and the current UK APD rates and bands, as well as the existing Highlands and Islands exemption, will continue to apply throughout 2018 to 2019.

Developing the ADT policy

Between March and June 2016, we carried out a first phase of two public consultations on a Scottish APD replacement tax.

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.

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