Air Departure Tax (ADT) – Consultations on an overall 50% reduction policy plan and an Environmental Report

Closed 15 Sep 2017

Opened 26 Jun 2017

Results updated 8 Dec 2017


Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The Scottish Government is undertaking two public consultations relating to Air Departure Tax (ADT):

  • Consultation 1: On the Scottish Government’s policy for an overall 50% ADT reduction by the end of the current session of the Scottish Parliament;
  • Consultation 2: On an assessment of the likely significant environmental impacts from the overall 50% ADT reduction policy (Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Report).

Why your views matter

Air Departure Tax (ADT), a tax payable by aircraft operators and charged on the carriage of chargeable passengers on chargeable aircraft by air from airports in Scotland, is expected to come into effect in Scotland from 1 April 2018, replacing UK Air Passenger Duty.

A fundamental part of the Scottish Government’s plans for ADT is a commitment to a 50% reduction in the overall tax burden by the end of the current session of the Scottish Parliament and also abolishing the tax when resources allow.

The Scottish Government believes that a 50% reduction in the overall burden of ADT by the end of the current session of Parliament will boost Scotland‘s air connectivity and economic competitiveness, encouraging the establishment of new routes which would enhance business connectivity and inbound tourism and help generate sustainable growth.

Important decisions have yet to be taken on how the overall 50% reduction could be delivered, including how the reduction will be distributed across tax bands (e.g. short-haul and long-haul flights) and tax rates and the profile of the reduction to ADT.

The Scottish Government is currently undertaking a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in relation to the overall 50% ADT reduction policy, in compliance with the requirements of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005, which requires that a SEA be carried out where a policy plan or programme is likely to have a significant environmental impact.

The SEA process started with the production of a Screening and Scoping Report that was issued for public consultation in March 2016. Following this initial period of consultation, the assessment built on the work set out in the Screening and Scoping Report and has been informed by the comments received.

The next main step of the SEA process is to publicly consult on both the overall 50% ADT reduction policy and an Environmental Report. The Environmental Report outlines the findings of the assessment of the plan against a wide range of environmental topics such as climate factors, air quality, material assets and biodiversity. 

Download the consultation paper.

What happens next

Responses received to both consultations will be analysed and used, along with a range of other available information and evidence, to help inform decisions on the final tax bands and tax rate amounts for ADT that will be set in secondary legislation and laid before the Scottish Parliament in the autumn. We will publish a report of this analysis for each consultation.

Thereafter, the next stage in the SEA process is the production of a post-adoption SEA Statement. The post-adoption Statement will reflect on the findings of the assessment and consultation, and will explain how the issues raised have been considered and addressed in the preparation of the secondary legislation for ADT tax bands and tax rate amounts.


  • Economy
  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Transport