Published on Monday 15 May 2023
Overflight of the French territory by foreign aircraft may require an authorisation.
News and highlights
# Revision of the ULM order
Following the publication of the new European Basic Regulation (EU) 2018/1139, the French decree on ULMs has been revised to extend certain limits of mass and power.
WARNING: the maximum mass limits of the ULM regulation are not as high as those applicable in some other European countries: the microlights of these countries can not fly over French territory without first obtaining an authorisation.
Aircraft holding an ICAO-level Certificate of Airworthiness or an EASA permit to fly (Form 20a)
Aircraft holding a Certificate of Airworthiness issued pursuant to the ICAO Convention are allowed to overfly the territory of ICAO contracting States without prior validation of this certificate.
Aircraft holding an EASA permit to fly (Form 20a) are allowed to overfly the territory of EASA member states without prior validation of this permit, except when the permit to fly explicitly limits the authorised area.
Except for the specific cases identified below, aircraft not holding a Certificate of Airworthiness issued pursuant to the ICAO Convention nor an EASA permit to fly cannot overfly the French territory before prior validation of their airworthiness document by the DGAC.
Pilots must hold a aeronautical title issued or recognised by the authority of the State of registry (except in very rare cases of ultralight aircraft where that authority does not require such a qualification for the category of aircraft concerned).
Apart from the particular cases of automatic recognition identified in the following sections, if the pilot's aeronautical title has not been issued in accordance with ICAO Annex 1 or European regulations (e.g. LAPL issued by a current Member State), the pilot will have to request authorisation from the DSAC's Direction des Personnels Navigants. Examples of titles requiring a DSAC authorisation:
- Pilot holding a LAPL issued by the UK CAA before or after UK left the EU
- Pilot of an ultralight aircraft that does not comply with the limits of French ultralight regulations with a non-ICAO national aeronautical title
Validation of a foreign airworthiness document
The application form is DGAC LP6, which shall be sent to DGAC Airworthiness Office (DSAC/NO/NAV) : firstname.lastname@example.org
NB : the e-mail and enclosures shall not exceed 4 Mo.
The applicant shall indicate the purpose of the flights into the French airspace and the period envisaged. He shall provide a copy of the foreign airworthiness document (and associated documents), which shall be valid during the period concerned.
The DGAC may request any further justification and/or prescribe any restriction deemed necessary to ensure flight safety.
For the validation of restricted category aircraft (amateur built, vintage etc.), except in exceptional cases :
- The flight permit issued by the DGAC will prescribe operating limitations equivalent to those applicable to the corresponding regime for French aircraft;
- A validation for an extended duration will normally require compliance to technical conditions equivalent to those applicable to the corresponding regime for French aircraft.
The issuance of permit to fly is subject to a fee of :
- 100 euros for aircraft with MTOW above 5.7 tons
- 50 euros for aircrafts with MTOW below 5.7 tons.
Also see Payment modalities.
The flight permit issued by the DGAC only concerns airworthiness and does not preclude compliance with other applicable requirements or obtaining any other required authorisation (operational authorisations, traffic rights, ATC clearance etc.). For the pilots: see Pilot qualification
Specific case of European ultralights
Ultralights originating from another European State (EU States, Island, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) can overfly the French territory for non commercial operations, provided that the aircraft :
- Has a flight authorisation in this State and remains within the limits of this authorization ;
- Satisfies the definition criteria for a French ultralight (ULM) (refer to article 2 of the ULM decree dated 23 September 1998, as modified).
WARNING: the maximum mass and power limits of the ULM regulations are not as high as those applicable in some other European countries: the microlights of these countries whose maximum mass or power exceeds the limits of the French regulations can not fly over the French territory without obtain prior authorization from the DGAC (for the aircraft and, potentially, for the pilot).
Conditions also apply to the pilot.
See the decree dated 7 January 2015 for the detailed conditions.
For commercial use or if the conditions of the decree of January 7, 2015 are not all satisfied, a prior authorization from the DGAC is required (see Validation of a foreign airworthiness certificate and Pilot qualification)
Specific case of amateur-built aircraft
Amateur built aircraft, registered in a European Economic Area member State, in Switzerland or in the United Kingdom are allowed to overfly the French territory without prior validation of their airworthiness document for a maximum of 90 cumulated days over the last twelve months. All days from the time the aircraft enters French airspace to the time it leaves French airspace are taken into account, whether or not flights have actually taken place (see Arrêté du 8 janvier 2018 relatif au survol du territoire français par certains aéronefs étrangers de construction amateur. The courtesy translation provided below will be updated shortly to reflect the last changes)
For amateur built aircraf registered in other States, a validation of their foreign airworthiness document (and potentially of the aeronautical title of their pilot) shall be obtained.
Specific case of historic aircraft
Certain historic aircraft, registered in an European Economic Area member State, in Switzerland or in the United Kingdom, are allowed to overfly the French territory without prior validation of their airworthiness document for a maximum duration of 90 cumulated days over the last twelve months. All days from the time the aircraft enters French airspace to the time it leaves French airspace are taken into account, whether or not flights have actually taken place (see arrêté du 8 janvier 2018 relatif au survol du territoire français par certains aéronefs anciens étrangers. The courtesy translation provided below will be updated shortly to reflect the last changes).
For the other historic aircraft, in particular those registered in other States, a validation of their foreign airworthiness document (and potentially of the aeronautical title of their pilot) shall be obtained.