The SNP leader unveiled her plans to make Scotland “open for business” and confirmed her pledge to halve APD and ultimately abolish it.
APD was introduced by Conservative chancellor Kenneth Clarke in 1993 as a revenue-raising tool and doubled by Labour chancellor Gordon Brown in 2007 to encourage a reduction in air pollution.
Ms Sturgeon said removing it will “dramatically increase Scotland’s international connectivity and boost our tourist industry”.
The SNP has also pledged to maintain the small business bonus throughout the next Parliament, connect every household to superfast broadband by 2021 and triple the number of exporting advisers in Scotland.
It will fund new innovation and investment hubs in London, Dublin and Brussels to attract inward investment and improve domestic access to new markets and investors, and increase apprenticeships in engineering, design and technology.
Ms Sturgeon was campaigning in Anniesland, Glasgow, with SNP candidate Bill Kidd.
She said: “Under the SNP, Scotland has the most competitive business tax environment in the UK, the number of registered businesses is at an all-time high and we are consistently ranked in the top two regions outside London for foreign direct investment.
“We want to build on these strengths and the SNP will use all of the powers available to us – both existing and new – to help all our businesses thrive.
“Our small business bonus scheme has supported small and medium-sized businesses through some tough economic times and today I am giving them the certainty that we will guarantee this relief for the lifetime of the next Parliament.
“A major priority of the next SNP government will be to improve Scotland’s connectivity and increase inward investment.
“Air passenger duty is one of the highest taxes of its kind in the world – which simply doesn’t make sense – which is why we’ll use the new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament to halve APD, and ultimately abolish it – to dramatically increase Scotland’s international connectivity and boost our tourist industry.
“We’ll make sure that businesses the length and breadth of Scotland get the connectivity they need by an ambitious programme to roll out superfast broadband to 100% of properties.”