Last September the Government announced measures to support air travel to and from Northern Ireland. From 1 November 2011 APD for passengers travelling on direct long-haul routes departing from airports in Northern Ireland was cut to the lower short-haul rate. To provide a lasting solution, the Government launched a further process to devolve aspects of APD to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Today, I can announce that the power to set APD rates for direct long-haul flights departing from Northern Ireland will be devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly and provided for in the Finance Bill 2012. Following devolution, it will be for the Assembly to determine what level of APD will apply to direct long-haul flights. The rates set by the Assembly will apply to the carriage of passengers on and from a day to be appointed by order, irrespective of when the ticket for the flight was booked or purchased.