We wanted to know how cost sharing flights are perceived because the subject is becoming more controversial, as to whether we should we ban cost sharing flight websites, or at least better regulate their activities. In other words completly ban them as in the United States, or to authorize them like in England or Germany. Internet sites such as Coavmi, Wingly, Aerostop or Offwefly have based their formulae between private pilots and individuals on the same principle as the now familiar car sharing sites.
The French technical flight staff union (USPNT) has just entered the scene by denouncing the practice of "illegal" transportation of passengers. "These flights bypass the French and international regulations on public passenger transport" says the union, which demands their close down, citing the Civil Aviation Code, which states that "a private plane pilot’s license permits the holder to exercise pilot functions without remuneration", whether the airplane carries passengers or not. Although paying a pilot is prohibited for private flights, participation of costs is not necessarily forbidden.
Over and above the regulatory aspects, there is also, and above all, that of safety, because a plane is not a car. The pilot’s experience has to be taken into consideration, together with his / her health, maintenance of the aircraft, and whether the pilot is its owner, which is not normally problematic for a vehicle. The French Civil Aviation Authority, who has taken the matter in hand, is to set up a working group on the subject, and whose conclusions are expected very quickly. In the meantime, they recommend the utmost vigilance.
Even though they are on the increase, these cost sharing flight websites will more than likely not experience the same mass phenomenon as those for carpooling or car sharing. Particularly because of the fact that there are far fewer private pilots than drivers, and again because of the vagaries of weather and volume / weight of luggage carried. But given the people we interviewed at an airport, security would remain an essential point in the eyes of most before the success of this new form of cost sharing can really take off.