Given the legal uncertainty surrounding flight sharing, the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGCA) has just established regulations governing this new activity. From now on, the Internet platforms that connect private pilots and the general public, such as Wingly or Coavmi, must have an air transport certificate guaranteeing the safety of their passengers, together with an operating license, which ensures that the financial structure of the operator is sound.
As Patrick Amar, a DGCA official, explains, "pilots must have a commercial pilot license and not that of a private pilot. Aircraft maintenance must be performed in authorized workshops. Finally, the company's global organization should be clearly established. Security cannot be processed at a discount."
The flight sharing air transport certificate will nevertheless be less strict compared to airlines, and companies should be able to obtain it within the reasonable period of two to three months.
Pending the day when a European regulatory framework for flight sharing comes into force, the sites as they stand in their present form, are now illegal in France, facing the possibility of fines of up to 75,000 euros and a sentence of one year’s imprisonment.
Flight sharing in France is now officially considered as a means of public transport.