40% of private jets too light to pay flight tax; Minister changing the rules
Forty percent of private jets departing from Dutch airports currently don’t pay air passenger tax. They are exempted due to the weight rules - the tax only applies to aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 8,616 kilograms. Demissionary Minister Mark Harbers of Infrastructure is lowering that weight so that over 80 percent of private jet flights have to pay the tax, he said in a letter to parliament.
“Currently, 60 percent of flights with private jets departing from Dutch airports fall under the air passenger tax,” the Minister said to parliament. When the government set the tax in 2021, it established the weight limit to align with the airports’ administration, Harbers said. But he feels that it leaves too many private jet passengers untaxed.
Harbers will therefore lower the weight limit to 5,700 kilograms, which will cover 82 percent of private jet flights from Dutch airports. The measure will take effect in January 2025, he wrote.
Private jets have become an increasingly popular mode of transport for those who can afford it since the coronavirus pandemic. Over 12,000 private jets departed from Schiphol Airport alone last year, according to RTL Nieuws.
Private flights make up only a small part of the total aviation. But their CO2 emissions per passenger are five to seven times higher than a regular commercial flight, research agency CE Delft previously calculated. Nearly 35 percent of private jet flights to and from Schiphol and Rotterdam The Hague Airport last year were shorter than 500 kilometers.
Earlier this year, Schiphol announced it would cut private flights by half to reduce noise pollution.
The air passenger tax, in principle, applies to all passengers departing from Dutch airports, both in regular scheduled flights and private jets, excluding transfer passengers. The tax has now risen to 26.43 euros per flight per person and generates around 400 million euros in tax revenue per year.