Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Some airport shops are keeping the extra money they earn when passengers show their boarding passes and are being urged to pass VAT savings on.

Customers show boarding passes so that retailers in the UK can avoid paying 20% VAT on purchases made by people who fly outside of the EU.

Buying without having to pay VAT is supposed to be for the benefit of travellers, said the treasury minister David Gauke. He also stated that it was not meant to provide a windfall gain for shops.

However, passengers do not legally have to show their boarding passes when they buy products at the airport. Passengers usually think that they have to show their passes but it is a request by shops so that they can avoid paying the VAT.

Boots is one of many retailers who operate in the UK airports and a spokesman said that the company did not claim back some VAT for non-EU passengers. This was to follow the rules that the government set out.

WH Smith on the other hand, said that having different pricing for travellers to EU and non-EU destinations would be impossible because it would mean distinguishing between each traveller.

Many shops were found to have some discounts in airports but still kept most of the savings.

Heathrow is the UK’s busiest airport and has said that its main focus now is on the campaign for building a new runway. The airport was chosen as the preferred site for expansion over Gatwick Airport, which is another popular London-based airport.

On Friday, Heathrow published its first-half results, which stated that passenger numbers rose 1.3%, enhancing its adjusted core earnings to 748 million pounds ($1.2 billion). This is a rise of 6.3% compared with the previous year.

With the airport already operating at full capacity, it makes sense for Heathrow to be allowed to have another runway. Not only that, but the airport has continued to campaign to be given permission to expand as this will not only create more flights for consumers, but also bring in more money.

The main reason for opposition towards building a runway at Heathrow is because some prominent politicians, local residents and environmental groups disagree with what would change as a result of the new build. There would be more air and noise pollution, which is bound to be a major factor for the locals.

However, despite Heathrow’s efforts at convincing everyone in general that the new runway will have more benefits than cons, the Prime Minister David Cameron is still yet to make a decision. Cameron stated that he would make a decision by the end of the year.

David Cameron overlooked the most vocal opponents of the airport’s expansion when he set up a new aviation committee. This was set up earlier this week and revealed that the committee also considered that building the runway at Gatwick, who is Britain’s second busiest airport, is a viable option.

Heathrow airport is in the running to have a third runway and this would create a total of 70,000 new jobs.

There are conditions that would be put in place if Heathrow does become the airport to have a third runway, and these include a ban of all night time flights between 11:30pm and 6:00am, there would be no fourth runway in future and there would be legally binding caps on noise and air quality.

Heathrow holds the strongest case for delivering strategic and economic benefits, the commission said. The expansion plan would cost £17 billion and create 250,000 more flights per year, which would mean that it would provide a £150 billion boost in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over 60 years.

A decision needs to be made regarding whether the government will act on the recommendation made by the commission. The prime minister first established this in 2012 to examine the need for more airport capacity. Both Heathrow and Gatwick were shortlisted for a new runway.

The main concern with building a third runway at Heathrow is the noise and air pollution, which is why there would be a noise levy in place to compensate for the local communities. However, this would also mean demolishing 783 homes, which includes most of the neighbouring village of Harmondsworth.

Local people will not be left out of this decision, as there will be a community engagement board to make sure that everyone in the surrounding area can have their say.

It has been a long wait for this verdict, which started five years ago when the government cancelled plans for a new runway at Britain’s biggest airport. It is now expected to trigger a renewed political battle.

Reports have stated that the amount of oil in the Gatwick airport area could be about 70% more than expected, an exploration company says. There are around 271 million barrels of oil per square mile (mmbo) in the Weald, UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) estimated. However, the total amount of oil in the field has not been revealed yet.

A past report estimated about 158 mmbo once an exploration had taken place at Horse Hill. Local people were concerned about pollution, according to Friends of the Earth. There are plans put in place by UKOG to drill more exploration wells in the Weald and to assess the potential of the reserves in the area.

In the South of England, oil has been produced onshore for many years. Across the Weald, there are currently around a dozen oil production sites. It is in an area spanning Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire.

UKOG has suspended their shares temporarily because of the announcement about the Horse Hill oil reserves. Shares were suspended on Aim from 7.30am and other companies who are also involved in the Horse Hill development have suspended. Other companies include Solo Oil, Alba Minerals, Stellar Resources and Doriemus.