An Air Transport Strategy for Northern Ireland
HC 76, First Report of Session 2012-13 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
Air travel is fundamental to family and economic life in Northern Ireland; to facilitate the rebalancing of the economy it is vital that air links to Great Britain, mainland Europe and the rest of the world are robust; 'An Air Transport Strategy for Northern Ireland (HC 76)' identifies several hurdles to overcome if this is to be achieved.
Although Air Passenger Duty (APD) on direct long-haul flights has been removed, 98.5% of passengers who travel on short haul flights are still liable. Ways to reduce or abolish APD on all flights to and from Northern Ireland should be explored.
Links to hub airports such as Heathrow, should be maintained and further routes actively sought. A review is being carried out by the Airports Commission to maintain the UK's status as an international hub for aviation; but the report is not due until 2015 and the delay as to the future airport configuration, and capacity in the South East of England, is causing concern among the business community in Northern Ireland. The Committee urge the Government to expedite the review and its decision, given its importance to Northern Ireland's international connectivity.
Road and rail links to all three of Northern Ireland's airports must be improved.
The Committee also recommend that the UK and Irish Government introduce a shared visit visa for the UK and the Republic of Ireland, as the current cost of two visas deters both business and leisure travellers from visiting both jurisdictions on a single visit.
|Format||Paperback||Published||30 Nov 2012|
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