Landing slot auctions would create green revenue

Sir, You were right to draw attention to the value of landing slots at airports in your editorial “The US air traveller loses out yet again” (March 22).

It is not just new slots at Heathrow on which the government should be collecting the economic rent. No airline has created time and space, and as permission for a landing slot is permission to occupy a certain space at a specific time, all landing slots should be in government ownership and be auctioned on a periodic basis, with the proceeds used further to reduce income taxes and taxes on businesses.

This would create fair competition between airlines and a green non-distorting revenue from aviation, and would ensure that people and communities that suffer from the pollution of aviation (ground traffic accessing airports as well as the aircraft and airports themselves) receive some recompense through paying lower taxes, and thus more wealth and jobs in the wider economy.

Surely the present practice is far more damaging than many other monopolies or even subsidies to farm landowners and should be referred to the monopolies and competition authorities across the globe.

Carol Wilcox
Labour Land Campaign

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