The term 'luck of the Irish' tends to be associated with prosperity and good fortune, qualities that have proven hard to find in recent years.

However, the recent announcement that Ireland is to scrap Air Passenger Duty in April next year, it looks as though the Irish are making their own luck.

The results of this decision have been immediate

With Ryanair recently announcing it will be operating eight new services out of Shannon. Our friends in the treasury and coalition politicians repeatedly ask for evidence of airlines making decisions because of APD. Mr O'Leary has shown that airlines will come if Air Passenger Duty goes. It's as simple as that.

The Airport Operators Association predicts these new Ryanair flights will boost Shannon Airport's passenger growth by 15%. This means more overseas visitors travelling to Ireland and more money being invested into the Irish economy.

Scottish airports have been lobbying for the abolition of Air Passenger Duty for a long time and we will continue to argue for its cancellation or devolution.

We go over the same ground again and again. The UK has the highest level of Air Passenger Duty by some distance but all evidence and testimonials continue to fall on the treasury's deaf ears. As recent economic studies have proven, Air Passenger Duty is costing us dearly in terms of attracting inward investment. PriceWaterhouseCooper announced earlier this year that if this tax was lifted, the UK economy would be boosted by at least £16 billion in the first three years and almost 60,000 extra jobs would be created.

The answer from government? Air Passenger Duty is assisting in paying off the deficit. It's a London centric view that is hindering our ability to grow our economy.

Now let's talk routes. We all know that new routes are crucial to Scotland's growth. We've had a good year in this respect at Edinburgh with Virgin and Air Canada joining us and increased services from Turkish, EasyJet, Ryanair and United.

This is sometimes thrown back at me when I talk about the issues around Air Passenger Duty. "Well, it can't be that bad if you're still attracting routes." Yes, the point that is being missed is we, the UK, could be doing so much better.

Air Passenger Duty is hugely damaging to the aviation industry and something which will inevitably stop airlines from investing in the UK. We're just back from the World Routes conference in Las Vegas where we had some very positive meetings with current and potential carriers. Edinburgh and Scotland sell themselves; it's the work we need to do to persuade airlines to invest in a country with one of the highest rates of Air Passenger Duty in the world that's the challenge.

We're doing our best - investing £150 million in our airport over the next five years, improving and expanding our security facilities, improving our service to passengers and airlines and working hard to understand how we can give Scotland the airport it deserves.

But we do this with one arm tied behind our back - on every air ticket; the Treasury gets more than the airport. At best we're £13 per flight behind the competition and as Ireland has shown, that counts.

Next year will be a huge year for Scotland. We're about to host two of the biggest sporting events in the world and all eyes will be on us. Now I know we're going to put on one hell of a show and we're going to give our country a fantastic showcase around the world. Shouldn't we be making it easier for people to get here? Shouldn't we be capitalising on our time in the spotlight. An extra £200 per family for a holiday is enough to make people reconsider.

HS2 is all very well - but Scotland needs visitors and growth now and we should not be putting barriers in their way.

It's a simple principal with no hidden meaning and our Celtic cousins are already reaping the benefits. By continuing to push this damaging tax to record levels, it's a no win game. The Government loses growth in the economy, Scotland loses visitors and jobs, and the aviation industry loses momentum. And ultimately, the passenger loses on choice and cost.

The time for change is now. Let's do it.

Gordon Dewar is chief executive of Edinburgh Airport