Finance (No. 2) Act 2008

Air travel tax.

55.— (1) In this section—

“ aircraft ” means an aircraft capable of carrying 20 or more passengers, but does not include an aircraft used for State or military purposes;

“ airline operator ” means the operator or registered owner of an aircraft, offering or operating an air passenger service;

“ airport ” means an airport within the meaning of the Air Navigation and Transport (Amendment) Act 1998 , but does not include an airport from which the number of departures of passengers in the previous calendar year was less than 10,000;

“ airport authority ” means the person owning, whether in whole or in part, or managing, either alone or jointly with another person, an airport to which the provisions of the Air Navigation and Transport (Amendment) Act 1998 apply;

“ crew ” means the flight crew and cabin attendants of a flight;

“ Commissioners ” means the Revenue Commissioners;

“ disabled person ” means any person whose mobility when using transport is reduced due to any physical disability (sensory or locomotor, permanent or temporary), intellectual disability or impairment, or any other cause of disability, or age, and whose situation needs appropriate attention and the adaptation to his or her particular needs of the service made available to all passengers;

“ groundhandling supplier ” means a supplier of groundhandling services within the meaning of the European Communities (Access To The Groundhandling Market At Community Airports) Regulations 1998 ( S.I. No. 505 of 1998 );

“ officer ” means an officer of the Commissioners;

“ passenger ” means a person, other than a member of the crew (including any relief crew) of the aircraft, travelling on an aircraft, but does not include—

(a) a disabled person who has requested and availed of assistance from the airline operator in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006 1 , or the person travelling with the disabled person for the purposes of providing care or assistance to the disabled person,

(b) a person under the age of 2 years who does not occupy one of the seats provided for passengers on an aircraft,

(c) a transit or a transfer passenger;

“ registered owner ”, in relation to an aircraft, means the person who is registered as the owner of the aircraft in—

(a) the register established under section 58 of the Irish Aviation Authority Act 1993 , or

(b) a register (by whatever name called) of another state that corresponds to the register so established;

“ transfer passenger ” means a passenger who arrives on a flight to an airport and who departs from the airport on a further flight, other than to the airport where the passenger’s journey originated, where both flights are part of a single booking and where the length of time between the scheduled time of arrival of the flight to the airport and the scheduled time of departure of the flight from that airport is not more than 6 hours;

“ transit passenger ” means a passenger who is on board an aircraft which lands at an airport in the course of its journey and who continues his or her journey on that aircraft.

(2) (a) Subject to the provisions of this section and any regulations made under it, a duty of excise, to be known as air travel tax, shall be charged, levied and paid in respect of every departure of a passenger on an aircraft from an airport on or after 30 March 2009.

(b) Air travel tax shall be charged, levied and paid by reference to the distance between the place of departure of the flight and the place where the flight ends, at the rate of—

(i) €2 in the case of a flight from an airport to a destination located not more than 300 kilometres from Dublin Airport,

(ii) €10 in any other case.

(c) Air travel tax shall become due at the time a passenger departs from an airport on an aircraft.

(d) An airline operator shall be accountable for and liable to pay the air travel tax in respect of passengers departing on its aircraft and the Commissioners may require an airline operator to provide security for the payment of air travel tax.

(e) Where an airline operator fails to provide such security as may be required by the Commissioners under paragraph (d), the Commissioners may serve notice on the groundhandling supplier of such airline operator indicating that, as and from such date as may be specified in the notice, the groundhandling supplier shall be liable and accountable for air travel tax in respect of departures on aircraft operated by the airline operator.

(3) Every airline operator to which subsection (2)(d) relates shall register with the Commissioners in accordance with such procedures as the Commissioners may specify in regulations under subsection (5) or otherwise impose.

(4) Every person liable to pay air travel tax shall within 20 days or such other period as the Commissioners may determine, furnish to the Commissioners a true and correct return showing the number of departures by passengers during the previous month or such other period as so determined, and such other information as the Commissioners may require, and shall at the same time remit to the Commissioners the amount of air travel tax payable by him or her in respect of that month or period.

(5) (a) The Commissioners may, for the purposes of giving effect to this section and of managing, securing and collecting air travel tax or for the protection of the revenue derived from that tax, make regulations.

(b) In particular, but without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), regulations under this subsection may—

(i) provide for securing, paying, collecting, remitting and repaying air travel tax,

(ii) provide for the making of returns in relation to air travel tax by airline operators,

(iii) require an airline operator, a groundhandling supplier or an airport authority to keep in a specified manner, and to preserve for a specified period, such accounts and records (including records in a machine readable form) relevant to air travel tax as may be specified, and to allow any officer to inspect and take copies of, or extracts from, such accounts and records (including, in the case of records in a machine readable form, copies in a readable form).

(6) (a) It is an offence under this subsection for any person to contravene or fail to comply with any provision of this section, or any regulation made under subsection (5), or any condition imposed under this section, or under such regulation in relation to such provision.

(b) Without prejudice to any other penalty to which a person may be liable, a person convicted of an offence under paragraph (a) is liable on summary conviction to a fine of €5,000.

(c) Where an offence under paragraph (a) is committed by a body corporate and the offence is shown to have been committed with the consent or connivance of any person who, when the offence was committed, was a director, manager, secretary or other officer of the body corporate, or a member of the committee of management or other controlling authority of the body corporate, that person shall also be deemed to be guilty of an offence and may be proceeded against and punished as if guilty of the first-mentioned offence.

(7) Air travel tax imposed by this section is placed under the care and management of the Commissioners.

1OJ No. L204 of 26 July 2006, p.1