Ban on private jets in France: what is in the bill?

Members of France Insoumise propose a law prohibiting the use of private jets in France. What does this text contain? Does the proposal seem realistic?

A sky without private jets, at least in France. This is the goal ofa bill registered with the National Assembly September 20, 2022. The text is carried by deputies from La France Insoumise (LFI). Their bill comes after a summer punctuated by strong criticism against these trips. Criticisms that have targeted businessmen and PSG.

While the summer period was marked by heat waves, obvious manifestations of climate change, and France is experiencing energy tension, the high frequency of travel by these privileged means of transport can make people cringe.

A passenger on a private jet is known to pollute up to 14 times more than a passenger on a commercial flight, according to a report by the European Federation for Transport & Environment (T&E). in 2021.” In a single hour of flight, a private jet emits up to two tons of CO2i.e. the limit that every French person should emit to limit global warming to below 2°C “, develops LFI in its proposal.

Private jets. // Source : Flickr/CC/Thomas Hawk (cropped photo)

What does this private jet ban bill contain?

The text ” aims to ban the use of private jets by 2023 within French airspace. LFI wishes that from January 1 of next year all private planes used by an individual or a company can no longer fly over the territory (classic commercial flights are not concerned). Internal or international flights are affected by the ban proposed by MEPs.

However, the bill lists exemptions, i.e. cases in which the ban would not apply:

  • medical evacuation flights,
  • Flights concerning national security,
  • Military private jet flights,
  • As well as flights of state-owned private jets, assigned to a public service.

To give depth to the measure, the deputies set any breach of a sanction consisting of one year’s imprisonment and a fine of 150,000 euros. Private jets could even be confiscated.

The retraining of employees in the sector: how?

MEPs only briefly address an important consequence that such a law would have: what would happen to employees in the sector? MEPs refer to the establishment of a ” action plan aimed at redeployment and professional retraining of these people. However, the text does not give any indications on the way of doing things and on the jobs that these employees could occupy. We can regret it, given the very short deadline left by this plan: if the law were adopted, it would be necessary to manage the retraining of employees in the sector within a period of less than 4 months.

And, above all, is it realistic to want to ban private jets? When we asked Jo Dardenne, director of aviation at T&E, whether a world without private jets was really possible, she was reserved. The European Federation for Transport and the Environment recommends instead banning jets using kerosene, in order to promote less polluting technologies. The first planes running on hydrogen and electricity will no doubt have to carry few passengers and fly short distances, at least initially. However, this is a description that corresponds to the current reality of jet travel.

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