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A study sets out facts and figures for general and business aviation in France

Download: Printable PDF Date: 05 Sep 2023 14:39 (UTC) category:
A study sets out facts and figures for general and business aviation in France - Business aviation publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Country: France Aircraft: Airplanes

Against a backdrop of controversy surrounding the misnomer of "private jets", the main players in the air transport industry wanted to set the record straight on the facts and figures concerning general and business aviation. To this end, they commissioned Arthur D. Little to conduct a study on general and business aviation, including helicopter transport, in France today. The study provides an objective assessment of the economic and social reality of general and business aviation, and underlines its indispensable role in opening up and developing regions, and in the existence of the French aeronautics and air transport industry. The main findings of this study were presented on Tuesday September 5, at a joint press conference held by FNAM, UAF, EBAA, GIPAG and SNEH.

Pascal de IZAGUIRRE, President of the FNAM, commented: "General and business aviation is a melting pot for aviation in France, meeting the specific mobility needs (speed, flexibility) of economic players that other modes of transport cannot meet. This type of aviation is undeniably useful, and is resolutely committed to decarbonization. We are therefore opposed to any additional taxation on this segment of aviation, even though increased taxation has already been imposed in the previous finance law".

Thomas JUIN, President of UAF, said: "In recent months, business jets, caricatured as 'private jets', have become a convenient political object, with the idea that they are mainly used by billionaires to fly to dream destinations. The reality of business aviation is quite different. General and business aviation airports are a vector for the economic and social development of regions, enabling the location of ETIs and SMEs that would otherwise have gone elsewhere".

General and business aviation in France is a complete ecosystem made up of more than 500 companies (mostly SMEs and VSEs located throughout the country), providing nearly 36,000 direct jobs and generating sales of 7.6 billion euros in 2019.

General and business aviation play a fundamental role in the economic and social development of local areas. Not only does it constitute a reservoir of jobs and skills that cannot be relocated, directly or indirectly linked to aviation, but it also has an impact on the economic and social development of the region as a whole. For example, it enables key economic decision-making centers to be located in the region, such as the head offices of major corporations or SMEs and ETIs with national or international reach.

General and business aviation is also a means of transport that combines flexibility and speed. It therefore perfectly complements rail and road transport for efficient regional connections. In fact, more than 75% of on-demand flights are between cities with no high-speed rail links (under 3 hours 30 minutes), and no alternative scheduled flights.

General and business aviation are also useful.  Nearly 80% of passenger flights are for business purposes. Most of the hours flown for "aerial work" are for reasons of public service and general interest. General and business aviation is mobilized first and foremost for medical and health evacuations and personal rescue, then for the surveillance of critical infrastructure networks and fire-fighting. It is also a melting pot for aviation, making a major contribution to the training of aviation professionals, especially pilots.

Finally, general and business aviation accounts for just 4.6% of aviation CO2 emissions in France, with emissions stable over the past 10 years. What's more, it will be the first aviation segment to be decarbonized, with aircraft powered by electric or hybrid engines, and with the widespread use of sustainable aviation fuels. This type of aviation must therefore be preserved and supported, not only because of its economic and social role, but also because of its immediate potential for decarbonization.

Air transport players are therefore calling on public authorities to encourage the decarbonization of this aviation sector by massively financing innovation and new decarbonized technologies, guaranteeing access to sustainable aviation fuels or green electricity by setting up ad hoc recharging infrastructures at all airports, and financially supporting aircraft conversion to accelerate the relatively slow natural rate of renewal. In the medium and long term, we also need to support general and business aviation by maintaining the necessary infrastructure (airports, border crossing points, air traffic control towers), simplifying regulations and preserving the economic "equalization" between regular aviation and general and business aviation.


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