Amid climate concerns, and following controversy over Ligue 1 football giants Paris Saint-Germain’s private flight to play a match in Nantes, just two-and-a-half hours away by train, Senators from France’s green party have proposed a bill planning flights by private jet if the journey can be made by train in less than two-and-a-half hours.
Commercial domestic flights are already banned in France if a rail route of less than two-and-a-half hours exists, and the EELV senators say that their bill “is a logical extension of the provisions of the Climate Law that prohibit these same routes to airlines”.
“There is no reason why what is forbidden for everyone should remain authorised for our most well-off compatriots,” the lawmakers added.
It is the second bill in a few days that seeks to tackle the issue of private jets.
On Monday, MPs from the far-left La France Insoumise party, sitting in France’s other parliament the Assemblée nationale, had filed a bill to ban the use of all private jets in France, calling it “an urgent ecological measure”.
This text of this bill calls for a ban on “the circulation of private aircraft chartered at the request of a private individual or a company except conventional commercial flights” from January 1st, 2023.
The LFI bill excluded flights for urgent medical reasons or national security.
Neither proposed laws are likely to come into effect, but they join a growing national conversation around the use of private jets in France – which has the highest number of private jet flights in Europe.
Transport Minister Clément Beaune, made headlines when he called for the “regulation of private jet flights”, adding that “behaviours must change”.
However, he later clarified that he was not advocating a total ban, and said that he wanted to tackle the issue at an EU level – meaning that immediate legislation is unlikely.
He spoke of the possibility of “tax measures” on aviation, which he said enjoys “a more favourable tax regime than certain modes of transport”.
Minister of Ecological Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher said that all sectors must participate in efforts to reduce carbon output, but that it was not “serious” to suggest that banning jets would solve “the whole problem”.