The Dutch government is planning to impose a tax on flights leaving the Netherlands of $16 for intra-European flights and $64 for intercontinental flights, Aviation Daily reports. The proposed tax is being touted as an environmental tax to offset carbon emissions from aviation, but the Association of European Airlines says the $497 million the tax is expected to raise annually will not be used to address environmental issues.
There are also worries that the tax will prompt travelers to drive to airports in nearby countries. IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani called the tax “counterproductive.”
“Study after study shows that taxes levied on environmental grounds are not a cost-effective means for reaching the desired environmental outcomes, but merely serve as revenue-raisers for governments,” said Nancy Young, U.S. Air Transport Association VP-environmental affairs.
Earlier this month, The European Commission’s Environment Committee called for plans to include airlines in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme starting in 2010.