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Belgium Proposes European Aviation Tax as Part of Strategy to Address Environmental Impact

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Authorities in Belgium plan to suggest a European aviation tax on fuel or airline tickets that aim to address environmental impact.

According to Travel Daily News report, the move was proposed during an EU meeting and aims for fair pricing of air travel’s ecological effects.

Belgium followed the example of the Netherlands, which took a similar step. The proposal is set to be discussed during the meeting of the Council of Environment Ministers next Tuesday.

The new plan has been prompted by the new Flemish Minister for the Environment, Koen Van den Heuvel.

In a communication distributed to fellow European Union members, the Belgian delegation advocated for the implementation of a “fair and equitable pricing framework for air transportation in view of its environmental impact.”

Besides, the communication also emphasises the lack of taxation on aviation fuel as well as VAT on tickets.

Last year, authorities in the Netherlands announced that they would be increasing taxes on aeroplane tickets from the beginning of this year. The local media report said that the “Netherlands Dutch State Tax,” which applies to travellers departing from the Netherlands, would surge by over €30, from€7.95 to €28.58.

Authorities in the Netherlands said that by doing so,  passengers would choose more eco-friendly means of transport.

Last year, authorities in Belgium announced that they would introduce new taxes on private jets and commercial aircraft as part of efforts to minimise noise and air pollution. Back then, authorities in Belgium said that from April 1 of this year, the new taxes would start to apply.

“The noise pollution experienced by residents near Brussels National Airport, whether they live in Flanders, Brussels or Wallonia, cannot remain as it is,” deputy prime minister and minister in charge of transport, Georges Gilkinet, pointed out in a statement.

He said that the pollution per passenger is much higher compared to commercial flights. Gilkinet noted that the fees for private jets would be based on the aircraft’s age and time of the flight. In addition, back then, the government expressed hopes to discourage night flights.

Business aviation accounts for a total of 12 per cent of total aviation activities in that country, according to the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA).

The decision of Belgium came following a statement provided back then by France’s Environment Minister, Christophe Bechu, who stressed that his government was in favour of taking such a step starting this year.

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