Air Passenger Duty (APD), a Government tax added on to the cost of each flight, is a deterrent to people coming to Scotland and action is now needed, says a new report.
Glasgow Airport bosses together with managers at Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports have written to George Osborne after they revealed the report into the damage to the economy caused by the tax and the UK Government's unwillingness to reform it or devolve it to Holyrood.
The report, unveiled at the first meeting of the Cross Party Group on Aviation at the Scottish Parliament, found APD is costing Scotland's airports two million passengers a year and by 2016 will have cost £210m a year in lost tourism spend.
The airports said the level of APD has increased in the last five years, with the tax paid on short haul trips going up by 160% and long haul 225%.
Mr Osborne has been warned the UK is out of step with the rest of Europe after other governments reduced or scrapped the tax in order to support airports and airlines.
The report points out that Spain and Ireland have reduced the rate while the Netherlands has abolished its aviation tax, and countries have recognised the money raised via the tax is not worthwhile when considered against the damage done to tourism.
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: "Together with the wider aviation industry, we have made repeated representations to the UK Government on APD which, as this report confirms, will continue to damage Scottish aviation by making routes unviable and decimating Scotland's links to the rest of the world.
"Due to the size of the market in Scotland, we will always find it difficult to attain and sustain new routes and this situation is compounded even further by APD, which simply serves to artificially depress demand and dissuade airlines from basing aircraft here.
"Unless APD is reformed, people travelling to and from Scotland – who must fly due to the lack of feasible alternatives – will continue to face some of the highest levels of taxation in Europe, which is clearly a disincentive to travel."
Keith Brown, Scotland's Transport Minister, backed the call from the airports and said Scotland needs to be given power over the tax.
He said: "The Scottish Government has been clear that devolution of Air Passenger Duty should take place as soon as possible.
"The Calman Commission recommended as much in 2009 and it is extremely frustrating that the UK Government has still not seen fit to act on this recommendation, despite the recent decision to devolve APD to Northern Ireland.
"By devolving APD to Northern Ireland, the UK Government has clearly recognised that a one size fits all policy does not work.
"It does not reflect the inherent differences in the UK aviation sector, the connectivity challenges facing regional airports and the needs of passengers.
"The UK Government's APD is among the highest rate of aviation duty in Europe and it is making Scottish airports uncompetitive in the global competition for new direct air services.
"We are currently in talks with several international airlines in a bid to help attract new, direct services to our airports but APD, as currently applied, is acting as a disincentive."