In France, civil aviation is regulated by the Civil Aviation Code and the Transport Code. The French administrative authority in charge of regulation of aviation is the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGAC). The DGAC is a national administration, under the Ministry of Sustainable and Ecological Transition, which includes all government departments responsible for regulating and supervising aviation safety, air transport and civil aviation in general.
The DGAC is in charge of guaranteeing security and safety of air transportation. The tasks of the DGAC cover every component of civil aviation such as sustainable development, security, safety, air control, economic regulation and education.
As France is a Member State of the European Union, civil aviation is also regulated by the European Regulations and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
i Access to the market
An airfield can be built either by the state or by any other entity that previously obtained an administrative authorisation. Any person exploiting a civil airfield supporting commercial flights must obtain a safety certificate under Article L.211-3 of the Civil Aviation Code. Airfield exploitation is subject to three different regimes: public company, concession and autonomous status.
Under Law 2015-992 dated 17 August 2015 relating to energy transition for a sustainable development, and its application decree dated 11 May 2016, the private or public person exploiting certain airfields shall implement a process to reduce the emission of greenhouse gas and polluting substances.
Most of the regulations on the operation of air services are harmonised at the European level, following the principle of free access to the market for airlines that have been granted an air operator certificate and an operating licence.
ii Regulation of slots
The EU adopted common rules for the allocation of landing and takeoff slots to ensure access to the busiest EU airports in a neutral, transparent and non-discriminatory manner.2
An independent coordinator is in charge of allocating the slots. Air carriers have to use at least 80 per cent of the slots they receive to maintain the same number of slots for the following period.
iii Treaty-based commitments regarding transit and traffic rights
Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 of 24 September 2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community, relevant bilateral conventions and the Civil Aviation Code regulate scheduled and non-scheduled air services to and from France.
As a result of European harmonisation, European air carriers are not required to have a prior authorisation to operate flights within the European Union. Any other scheduled or unscheduled flight to or from France still requires a prior authorisation.
iv Interest in aircraft equipment
The Transport Code regulates two types of security interest on aircraft: mortgage and liens. Non-possessory pledges on aircraft are also possible, but are regulated by the common law of securities.
France is a signatory of the Geneva Convention dated 19 June 1948 on the international recognition of the rights on aircraft, applicable only in cases of international disputes. This Convention has not been ratified by a large number of states.
France also signed the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the specific Protocol to the Convention regarding aircraft equipment on 16 November 2001, but they have not yet been ratified.
v Labour and employment issues
Employment in the aviation sector is regulated by the Labour Code and applicable collective agreements.
Some low-cost companies used to take advantage of the European posted workers Regulation, which allowed them to subject the employment contracts to foreign labour law. In 2005, however, France passed a law creating Article R.330-2-1 of the Civil Aviation Code, providing that when an activity is entirely directed towards France or conducted in France in a habitual, stable and continuing manner, the employer is not regulated by posted workers laws and the employment contracts are governed by French employment law.3
II LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR LIABILITY
i International carriage
In instances of international carriage, the Montreal Convention is applicable as it has been ratified by the European Union through Regulation No. 2001/539 on behalf of all the Member States. The Convention has been into force since 28 June 2004 in the EU and takes precedence over the Warsaw Convention according to its Article 55. Under Article 1 of the Montreal Convention, it applies to all international carriage of persons, baggage or cargo performed by aircraft for reward, as well as to gratuitous carriage by aircraft performed by an air transport undertaking.
Air carrier liability regarding the carriage by air of passengers and their baggage within Member States is regulated by European Regulation No. 2027/97 dated 9 October 1997 as amended by Regulation (EC) No. 889/2002, which aligns EU legislation with the Montreal Convention provisions.
ii Internal and other non-convention carriage
As opposed to international carriage, internal carriage is defined as the transportation from one point to another, both within the same state, without any layover in a foreign state.
The Transport Code provisions concerning transportation contracts (L.6421-1 to L.6422-5) are applicable to both gratuitous and onerous transportation regardless of whether the carrier is a professional.
In the event of transportation of passengers, these Articles refer to the responsibility regime created by EU Regulation No. 889/2002 dated 13 May 2002, which extended the application of the Montreal Convention to internal carriage within a Member State.4
In the event of paid transportation by a carrier without an exploitation licence, the Warsaw Convention, as amended by the Hague Convention, is applicable.
iii General aviation regulation
General aviation regulation is found in the Civil Aviation Code and in the Transport Code. The Civil Code is also applicable to the extent the Transport Code refers to it.
In the event of free transportation by a non-professional carrier, Article L.6421-4 provides that the responsibility of the person assuming the role of carrier can be solely engaged if the damage originated in his or her fault.
iv Passenger rights
Passenger rights are provided by the European Regulation No. 261/2004, which sets the obligations of air carriers operating from France and to France if the operating air carrier is an EU carrier, in terms of compensation and assistance of passengers in cases where boarding is denied, the flight is cancelled, or subject to long delay. Since a European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision of 2009,5 a delay of more than three hours is assimilated to a flight cancellation and entitles the passenger to the assistance and compensation provided for in Regulation No. 261/2004.
When the indemnification is due because of flight delay, the Court of Cassation ruled that the passengers must evidence that they actually boarded the plane by producing their boarding pass and would otherwise fail to meet the burden of proof.6
Under Regulation No. 261/2004, air carriers are not liable for indemnification in cases of extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.
Point 14 of the Preamble gives a non-exhaustive list of situations that can be considered extraordinary circumstances: 'political instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with the operation of the flight concerned, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings and strikes that affect the operation of an operating air carrier'.
Although the concept of 'extraordinary circumstances' suffers from a lack of clarity in the Regulation, a few situations have been examined by the ECJ.7
A time limitation for filing a claim under Regulation 261/2004 is not provided by the EU Regulation, which creates a difference of treatment between the Member States. The Court of Cassation finally ruled on that matter in 2017 and held that the five-year common law limit is the applicable statute of limitation.8
Passenger rights are also regulated by specific European Regulations:
- Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006 sets out the rules regarding the carriage of disabled persons.
- Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 sets out passenger rights regarding airfares, especially pricing and price comparison.
- Regulation (EC) No. 2111/2005 requires any person or company selling flight tickets to disclose to the passengers the identity of the air carrier operating the flight and allows the European Commission to establish a list of airlines (blacklist) banned from operating in the EU.9 The information requirement is more stringent under the Transport Code,10 which requires any person or company selling a flight ticket on an air carrier listed on the EU blacklist to clearly and unambiguously inform passengers and invite them to seek alternatives. This obligation is subject to an administrative fine of €7,500 per ticket issued – doubled in case of renewed breach – and a criminal penalty under Article 121-3 of the French Criminal Code.
Finally, as of 2004, the French Consumer Code provides that air carriers and any person selling air transport tickets shall reimburse individualised taxes and fees, the payment of which stems from the actual boarding of the passenger. As a general rule, the reimbursement is therefore due in any cases, whether the ticket is refundable and even in the case of no-show.11
v Other legislation
Directive (EU) No. 2015/2302 of 25 November 2015 on package travel and linked travel arrangements, amending Regulation (EC) No. 2006/2004 and Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directive 90/314/EEC, improves the rights of customers purchasing travel packages.
The Directive has been transposed into French law through Decree No. 2017-1717, which came into force on 1 July 2018 and is applicable to any contract executed after this date.
The 2015 Directive broadens the definition of package travel and now covers the following travel combinations:
- prearranged packages: ready-made holidays from a tour operator made up of at least two elements – transport and accommodation or other services (e.g., car rental);
- customised packages: selection of components by the traveller and bought from a single business online or offline; and
- linked travel arrangements: if the customer, after having booked one travel service on one website, is invited to book another service through a targeted link or similar, the new rules offer some protection, provided that the second booking is made within 24 hours.
Any person engaging in these activities is subject to strict liability towards the purchaser for the full performance of their contractual obligations, regardless of whether the contracts have been entered into online and whether the services are to be performed in person or by another service provider, without prejudice to their right of recourse against such a provider and within the limits set out in international conventions (Article L.211-16 of the Tourism Code).
As an exception, in the case of linked travel arrangements, every professional is strictly liable only for the part of the trip that he or he sold.
The 2015 Directive clarifies the scope of the relevant information requirements, the rules protecting customers against travel organisers' insolvency and the rules relating to compensation demands.
Finally, the newly incorporated Article L.211-17-1 of the Tourism Code provides for a duty of assistance by the professionals towards travellers.
III LICENSING OF OPERATIONS
i Licensed activities
Under Article L.6111-1 of the Transport Code, an aircraft cannot be in circulation without prior registration. Through registration in France an aircraft obtains French nationality, in compliance with the Chicago Convention.
In addition, and unlike the Chicago Convention, the Transport Code imposes prerequisites to an aircraft registration in France. According to Article L.6111-3 of the Code, an aircraft can only be registered in France if it:
- belongs to a French natural person or a national of a Member State;
- belongs to a legal entity constituted under the laws of a Member State and having its registered office or its principal place of business within the French territory or a Member State; or
- is exploited by an air carrier whose exploitation licence has been delivered by a French administrative authority.
The following licensing requirements apply to air carriage for a fee (as opposed to free air carriage):
- Air operator certificate (AOC): a certificate delivered to an undertaking confirming that the operator has the professional ability and organisation to ensure the safety of the operations specified in the certificate. It is delivered by the DGAC, under Article L.6412-2 of the Transport Code transposing Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008.
- Operating licence: subject to the conditions set forth in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008, such as having its principal place of business in France.
- Authorisation to operate transport services: operators shall notify schedules flights to the DGAC at least one month before their performance under Article R.330-8 of the Civil Aviation Code. Non-scheduled flights are subject to specific provisions.
ii Ownership rules
Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 creates an ownership condition to the granting of an operating licence to an undertaking. Member States or nationals of Member States must own more than 50 per cent of the undertaking and effectively control it, whether directly or indirectly through one or more intermediate undertakings.
The Transport Code and Civil Aviation Code provide specific requirements for publicly traded companies that own an operating licence, whose purpose is to comply with the 50 per cent rule (Article L.6411-2 et seq. Transport Code; Article L.360-2 Civil Aviation Code).
iii Foreign carriers
Under Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008, European air carriers are not required to obtain an authorisation to carry out intra-Community flights. However, intra-Community air service must be notified to the DGAC, a month in advance for a scheduled flight, 10 days in advance for a non-scheduled flight, and two working days in advance for any other cases. The approval is tacit.
European air carriers have to request in the time frame described above an authorisation to conduct extra-Community air service. Non-European air carriers are required to obtain an authorisation from the DGAC for any flights.
As a signatory to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation (dated 7 December 1944) and as a Member State of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), France complies with the international safety standards defined by the ICAO but also with the European harmonised safety rules.
As of 15 November 2015, occurrence and accident reporting are governed by Regulation (EU) No. 376/2014 and Regulation (EU) No. 1018/2015, the latter providing the list of occurrences subject to mandatory reporting.
In addition, Directive (EU) 2016/681 of 27 April 2016 on the use of passenger name record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime and investigations and prosecutions in these areas, compels all air carriers to provide the national authorities with passengers' data for all flights to or from an EU Member State. The Directive was transposed into French law through Law No. 2017-1510 dated 30 October 2017 and the transposition was completed through Decree No. 2018-714 of 3 August 2018.
i Occurrence reporting
As of 15 November 2015, Regulation (EU) No. 376/2014 gives pilots and other civil aviation professionals a duty to report any occurrence to the reporting person they are working for.
An occurrence is a 'safety-related event which endangers or which, if not corrected or addressed, could endanger an aircraft, its occupants or any other person and includes in particular an accident or serious incident'. Annexes I–V of Regulation (EU) No. 1018/2015 provide a list of reportable occurrences.
Regulation (EU) No. 376/2014, in its Article 6, provides that each organisation to which occurrences are reported must designate one or more persons to handle independently the collection, evaluation, processing, analysis and storage of details of occurrences reported.
All occurrences reports collected in the EU are stored in the European Central Repository.
ii Accident reporting
Accident reporting is governed by Regulation (EU) No. 996/2010 of 2 October 2010 on the investigation and prevention of accidents and incidents in civil aviation, and by Regulation No. 36/2014; Article L.6221-1 et seq. of the Transport Code and Article R722-2 et seq. of the Civil Aviation Code.
Accidents or serious incidents that occur in France have to be notified to the French investigation board, which will then notify the Commission, the EASA, the ICAO, and the Member States and third countries concerned.
iii Maintenance and continuing airworthiness
Maintenance and continuing airworthiness of aircraft are governed by Regulation (EU) No. 1321/2014 on the continuing airworthiness of aircraft and aeronautical products, parts and appliances, and on the approval of organisations and personnel involved in these tasks relating to:
- the 'measures to be taken to ensure that airworthiness is maintained, including maintenance' and to the 'conditions to be met by the persons or organisations involved in such continuing airworthiness management';12
- the 'requirements to be met by an organisation to qualify for the issue or continuation of an approval for the maintenance of aircraft and components';13
- the 'aircraft maintenance licence' and 'the requirements for application, issue and continuation of its validity'; and
- the 'requirements to be met by organisations seeking approval to conduct training and examination'.
Regulation (EU) No. 1178/2011 of 3 November 2011 provides the technical requirements and administrative procedures for civil aviation aircrew. This Regulation was implemented by the Decree of 5 April 2012 and recently modified by two arrêtés, respectively dated 2 April 2015 and 14 April 2016.
The licensing and training of air traffic controllers is governed by Regulation (EU) No. 2015/340 of 20 February 2015.
Regulation (EC) No. 785/2004 amended by Regulation (EC) 285/2010 determines the types and levels of insurance that air carriers and aircraft operators must have. They apply to 'all air carriers and all aircraft operators flying within, into, out of, or over the territory of a Member State'. According to Article 2 of this Regulation, all air carriers and aircraft operators must be insured in respect of passengers, baggage, cargo and third parties, in order to cover the risks associated with aviation-specific liability (including acts of war, terrorism, hijacking, acts of sabotage, unlawful seizure of aircraft and civil commotion:
- For liability regarding passengers, the minimum insurance cover must be 250,000 special drawing rights (SDR) per passenger. EU Member States may set a lower level of insurance cover for non-commercial operations by aircraft with a maximum takeoff mass (MTOM) of 2,700 kilograms or less; provided that such cover is at least 100,000 SDR per passenger.
- For liability regarding baggage, the minimum insurance cover must be 1,131 SDR per passenger in commercial operations.
- For liability regarding cargo, the minimum insurance cover must be 19 SDR per kilogram in commercial operations.
The above levels of insurance do not apply to flights over the territory of the EU Member States carried out by non-EU air carriers and by aircraft operators using aircraft registered outside the EU that do not involve a landing on or takeoff from such territory.
For liability regarding third parties, the minimum insurance cover per accident and per aircraft must be as follows:
|Category||MTOM (kilograms)||Minimum insurance (million SDR)|
Air carriers and, when required, aircraft operators, must comply with the insurance requirements set out in this Regulation by providing the DGAC, the competent authority in France, with an insurance certificate or any other evidence of valid insurance.
Regarding overflights by non-EU air carriers or aircraft registered outside the EU, which do not involve a landing on or takeoff from any EU Member States, as well as in respect of stops in EU countries by such aircraft for non-traffic purposes, the EU Member State concerned may request evidence of compliance with the insurance requirements laid down in the Regulation.
Infringement of this Regulation by EU air carriers can be sanctioned by the revoking of their operating licence whereas, for non-EU air carriers and aircraft operators using aircraft registered outside the EU, the sanction can include the refusal of the right to land on the territory of an EU Member State.
Where EU Member States are not satisfied that the conditions of this Regulation are met, they must prohibit an aircraft from taking off until the air carrier or aircraft operator concerned has produced evidence of adequate insurance cover.
However, even though the Montreal Convention applies, it does not mean that the Warsaw Convention does not apply.
i The relevant competition provisions
There are no specific provisions in French law regarding competition in the aviation sector; therefore, the provisions of the Commercial Code apply:
- Article L.420-1 prohibits all agreements and concerted practices that have the aim or effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition; and
- Article L.420-2 prohibits the abuse of a dominant position by an undertaking or group of undertakings.
The French Competition Authority is in charge of implementing competition law and enforcing, where applicable, the European competition provisions.
Article 101 and Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) apply where the practice at stake can affect trade between Member States.
Regarding state aid, European law provisions apply to the aviation sector. Public aid granted to airports and airlines may, therefore, be caught by Article 107(1) TFEU, in which case the aid will have to be notified to the European Commission for approval.
ii Procedure before the Competition Authority and fines
The Competition Authority may conduct investigations – either following a complaint or ex officio – to find a breach of competition provisions and impose fines for such breaches. All decisions of the Competition Authority can be appealed before the French courts of appeal.
The amount of the fines imposed by the Competition Authority for anticompetitive practices can reach 10 per cent of the turnover of the undertaking concerned. In practice, the maximum fine is rarely imposed. The method used for the calculation of fines is available in a Notice published by the Competition Authority in 2011.
iii Cooperation agreements between operators
French law does not prohibit cooperation agreements nor do the European competition provisions. Cooperation agreements are sometimes considered as being pro-competitive, generally for research and development agreements.
Cooperation agreements between competitors are generally assessed under antitrust rules, and in particular the prohibition of anticompetitive agreements. The analysis is usually conducted in the light of the European Commission's Guidelines on horizontal cooperation, which set out the Commission's position for these types of agreements.
The Competition Authority may examine the exchanges of information that take place as part of cooperation agreements as they can be problematic. According to the case law in this matter, any exchange of information exceeding the scope of the cooperation may be considered as an anticompetitive agreement or a concerted practice.
iv Criminal liability for breaches of cartel law
The Commercial Code, in its Article L.420-6, also provides for criminal proceedings initiated against individuals who 'fraudulently play an individual and decisive role in the conception, organisation or implementation' of anticompetitive practices. However, this provision is very rarely applied.
VII WRONGFUL DEATH
The types of damages awarded and the levels of compensation payable for wrongful death shall be addressed in Section VIII.
When the Warsaw and Montreal Convention are applicable, claimants are not allowed to request damages against the air carrier in the criminal proceedings. These claims are made before civil courts.
Claims for compensation against aircraft manufacturers or other parties than the air carrier can be made in the context of criminal proceedings. However, as these claims are often also made against the air carrier, most claims for compensation are made before civil courts, allowing all potential liable parties to be called in the same proceedings.
VIII ESTABLISHING LIABILITY AND SETTLEMENT
Under French law, there are no specific fora, mechanisms or timescales used to settle claims relating to air travel. The Montreal and Warsaw Conventions apply exclusively in cases of death or bodily injury. Together with Regulation (EC) No. 889/2002 dated 13 May 2002, they all provide a two-year time limitation for bringing a claim against the air carrier. This time limitation applies to both international and national air carriages.
A compensation claim can be brought against the air carriers and other liable parties, as manufacturers along with their insurers.
ii Carriers' liability towards passengers and third parties
Carriers' liability towards passengers
The carriers' liability to passengers is established according to the provisions of the Montreal Convention (applicable to internal carriage with respect to Article 1 of Regulation (EC) No. 889/2002 of 13 May 2002). The air carrier has a security duty towards its passengers from the embarking or the disembarking.14 In cases of death or bodily injury of passengers, the carrier is strictly liable and cannot exclude its liability for damages up to 113,100 SDR per passenger. For damages exceeding this amount, the carrier may exclude or limit its liability if it proves that:
- the damage did not result from its negligence or other wrongful act or omission; or
- the damage solely resulted from the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of a third party.
In cases of damage caused by delay or damage or loss to cargo or luggage, the carrier's strict liability is limited to:
- 4,694 SDR for damage caused by delay;
- 1,131 SDR per passenger in cases of destruction, loss, damage or delay of the baggage unless a special declaration of interest was made; and
- 19 SDR per kilogram for the carriage of cargo unless a special declaration of interest was made.
Carrier's liability towards third parties
Article L.6131-2 of the Transport Code provides strict liability of the operator for all damages caused to the surface and only the victim's fault can exonerate the operator. According to Article L.6131-1, when two moving aircraft collide, the liability is governed by the provisions of the Civil Code.
iii Product liability
Product liability is governed by Article 1245 et seq. of the Civil Code. A product liability action can only be brought against the manufacturer of the product (or if the manufacturer cannot be identified, or the importer if the manufacturer is outside the EU against the seller, lessor or supplier).
As compensation is not used as a penalty under civil law, no punitive damages can be obtained before French courts.
Apart from the mandatory payment of the financial advances imposed to European air carriers, there is no obligation in international convention for an air carrier to take the initiative of the victim or its beneficiary's compensation. Therefore, it is up to the victims or their beneficiaries to take necessary action to identify the liable persons or entities and their insurers in order to negotiate the compensation.
In French law, all damages suffered have to be fully compensated. Any types of lawful damages are recoverable as long as causation with the accident is proved. Moral and material damages can be compensated.
i Legal framework
The use of teleoperated aircraft regardless of their size or use is regulated under the Civil Aviation Code.
Law No. 2016-1428 of 24 October 2016 reinforcing the security of the use of civil drones regulates the use of drones and sets out three regulatory schemes depending on the use of the drone: for leisure, for experimental purposes, and for 'particular activities' (which includes the use of drones for professional purposes).
EU Regulation 2018/1139 of 4 July 2018 on common rules on the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency is also applicable in France.
ii Registration obligation
Teleoperated aircraft under 25 kilograms are not subject to the registration obligation of Article L.6111-1 of the Transport Code. Teleoperated aircraft are, however, subject to electronic registration on the dedicated website AlphaTango for drones over 800 grams starting from 26 December 2018.
iii The use of drones for 'particular activities'
The legal framework provides for four operational scenarios in which authorisation conditions have been detailed; any use outside those four scenarios requires a specific authorisation.
A person using a drone for 'particular activities' must declare its activity to the DGAC, hold a manual of particular activities (MAP), the pilot must hold a certificate of aptitude for the theoretical part and a certificate of practical training, and in certain cases homologation of the drone by the DGAC may be required.
iv The use of drones for leisure purposes
Drones over 800 grams and used for leisure purposes should be registered, equipped with a system of capacity limitation, operated by a remote pilot that has received training in controlling aircraft without pilots safely and in compliance with air navigation regulations, and equipped with a sound signalling system triggered by the loss of control of the aircraft.15
v Security of third parties and other aircraft
The use of drones is regulated to protect third parties on the ground and other aircraft by two decrees dated 17 December 2015 regulating flight in populated areas, sensitive sites and above a group of persons. In addition, drones are not permitted above 150 metres, or 50 metres for drones out of sight of the pilot, and above 2 kilograms, any flight out-of-sight of the pilot and near an airport or controlled space is subject to authorisation.
Finally, drones must be used in respect of the right to privacy.
X VOLUNTARY REPORTING
In pursuit of the concept of 'just culture', there have been various initiatives to encourage voluntary reporting of incidents in the aviation community to third-party bodies with a view to improving safety. Concern has arisen in some areas that such voluntary reporting may be used against reporters in subsequent accidents as evidence of negligence or criminal recklessness. Identify voluntary reporting initiatives in your jurisdiction and the extent to which such reports are kept confidential from claimants in injury and wrongful death actions, regulators and prosecutors. Identify what whistleblower protection is available and discuss its effectiveness.
Regulation (EU) No. 376/2014, completed by Regulation (EU) No. 2015/1018, lays down rules of mandatory and voluntary occurrences reporting.
To encourage voluntary reporting, and in pursuit of the concept of 'just culture', Article 16 of Regulation (EU) No. 376/2014 protects reporters or persons mentioned in occurrences reports, both mandatory or voluntary.
Reported information is to be disidentified, meaning all personal data such as names or addresses of natural persons shall be removed. It may not be used to sanction unpremeditated or inadvertent infringements of law, or to support disciplinary actions against the reporter or the person mentioned in the report, except in cases of wilful misconduct, or where there has been a manifest, severe and serious disregard of an obvious risk and profound failure of professional responsibility to take such care as in evidently required in the circumstances, causing foreseeable damage to a person or property, or which seriously compromises the level of aviation safety.
XI THE YEAR IN REVIEW
The trend of selling French airports to private investors continues. The sale of Paris Airport Company (ADP) (of which the state owns 50.6 per cent) has been adopted by the House, and the Constitutional Court approved of the organisation of a special referendum (RIP) on the subject.
On 15 October 2018, EASA issued a public notice of its proposal for the first regulatory framework of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in Europe. In France, Airbus and RATP are jointly developing the eVTOL or 'flying taxi' as a sustainable way to reduce traffic congestion.
1 Carole Sportes is a partner and Albertine Guez is an associate at Squire Patton Boggs.
2 Regulation (EC) 793/2004 of 21 April 2004 and Regulation (EC) 545/2009 of 18 June 2009 amending Council Regulation (EEC) No. 95/93 on common rules for the allocation of slots at Community airports.
3 Council of State (French Administrative Supreme Court), 11 July 2007, No. 299787, 300114, EasyJet Airlines Company Ltd et al.
4 Supreme Court (Court of Cassation) 1 civ., 2 April 2014, No. 13-16.038.
5 ECJ, 26 February 2013, Case C-11/11 Air France SA v. Heinz-Gerke Folkerts and Luz-Tereza Folkerts confirming Joined cases dated 19 November 2009, No. C-402/07 and C-432/07.
6 Supreme Court (Court of Cassation), 14 February 2018, No. 16-23205.
7 ECJ, 31 January 2013 No. C-12/11, Denise McDonagh v. Ryanair Ltd (holding that a volcanic eruption is an extraordinary circumstance); ECJ, 4 May 2017, No. C-315/15, Pešková v. Travel Service (ruling that a collision with a bird must be classified as extraordinary circumstance) Supreme Court (Court of Cassation) 1 Civ. 12 September 2018, No. 17-11.361 (finding that an aircraft struck by thunder upon takeoff constitutes an extraordinary circumstance); but see ECJ, 22 December 2008, No. C-549/07, Wallentin-Hermann (finding that a technical problem leading to the cancellation of a flight is not an extraordinary circumstance).
8 Supreme Court (Court of Cassation) 1 Civ, 17 May 2017, No. 16-13352; 1 Civ, 15 June 2017; No. 16-19375.
9 The Blacklist has been updated on 16 April 2019 and includes 120 air carriers banned in the EU: 114 owing to a lack of security oversight by their local aviation authorities and six owing to concerns regarding the security of the air carrier.
10 Article L6421-2-1 of the Transport Code.
11 Article L224-66 of the Consumer Code.
12 Part M of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1321/2014.
13 Part 145 of the above-mentioned Regulation.
14 Article 17 of the Montreal Convention, Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention and decision of the French Court of Cassation dated 15 July 1999.
15 Decree No. 2018-374, 18 May 2018; Decree No. 2018-375, 18 May 2018.