Laywers doubt France’s proposed bizav ban


Aviation industry lawyers have told Corporate Jet Investor (CJI) they doubt a proposed ban on private jets in France could be enforced.

Shyamal Jeewoolall, partner at law firm HFW said a ban, as suggested this week by France’s minister delegate for Transport Clément Beaune, would be “difficult to enforce”.

“At this stage, it is difficult to appreciate the level of restrictions which are being envisaged,” he told CJI. “Although minister Beaune has said that any restriction would make allowance for emergencies and situations which can be justified on economic or other, so far unspecified grounds.”

Jeewoolall added that any proposed ban “will most likely be challenged in front of French administrative courts”. He said that France, being a major manufacturer of private jets, with companies such as Dassault and Airbus headquartered in the country, would make restrictions even more difficult to implement. Jeewoolall said: “Given the likely economic impact any ban would have on the wider industry, I would be sceptical as to any ban being imposed on private jets in France.”

Madalyn Miller, partner, Gibson Dunn told CJI: “It is too early to say whether any proposed restrictions or bans would be enforceable.” No firm proposals have been put forward yet by Beaune.

Miller added that she hopes to see proposals that reflect and recognize the efforts the industry is already making to become more sustainable.

Even in the unlikely event a ban does come into place, its impact may not be as drastic as one might fear, said Jeewoolall. “By way of analogy, the French government passed a new law in 2017 to tax yachts. As of 2019, the government had collected only a fraction of the anticipated tax amounts. Whilst some eye-catching measures can appease certain segments of the electorate, the actual outcome of any new measure is not always in line with the expectations of the legislator.”

Alternatives to a ban may be easier to enforce or encourage. Miller said: “The aviation industry, including the private jet industry, is innovative and focused on creative solutions to improve emissions and related environmental issues.”

Read the EBAA’s exclusive letter to CJI about the ban here.