Government Drops Plan To Tax Helicopter Service

A plan to bring in a new tax, which would have made the British International Helicopters service to Scilly unviable, has been dropped.

MP Andrew George says the Government has accepted the case that Air Passenger Duty would have doubled the price of a return helicopter trip and force the company to cease operations.

The new duty starts in April and is designed to bring in revenue from private aircraft users, particularly business fliers.

But the rules would have applied to the only passenger helicopter service in the country too.

Andrew learned that our service was to be exempt via a written statement from the Department for Transport in the House of Commons.

He said he spoke with Justine Greening when she was a Minister in the Treasury, pointing out that the impact would have been so dramatic that the service wouldn’t have survived.

British International Helicopters also presented a lot of technical information to support an exemption and Mike Hicks, the Council Chairman, wrote a strongly worded letter as part of the Government consultation.