68 France

Three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), white, and red. Known as the “Le drapeau tricolore” (French Tricolor), the origin of the flag dates to 1790 and the French Revolution when the “ancient French color” of white was combined with the blue and red colors of the Parisian militia. The official flag for all French dependent areas.

Flag courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Map courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Google Earth

The Castle on the village square in Gordes, Provence, was partially rebuilt in 1525.

Photo courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

France is a member of ICAO, EUROCONTROL, JARUS, EASA, and the EU.
Last updated on May 31, 2024

Government

According to Britannica, when France fell into political turmoil after the May 1958 insurrection in Algeria (then still a French colony), General Charles de Gaulle, an outspoken critic of the postwar constitution who had served as the provisional head of government in the mid-1940s, returned to political life as prime minister. He formed a government and, through the constitutional law of June 1958, was granted responsibility for drafting a new constitution. With the assistance of Michel Debré, de Gaulle crafted the constitution of the Fifth Republic. The drafting of the constitution of the Fifth Republic and its promulgation on October 4, 1958, differed in three main ways from the former constitutions of 1875 (Third Republic) and 1946 (Fourth Republic): first, the parliament did not participate in its drafting, which was done by a government working party aided by a constitutional advisory committee and the Council of State; second, French overseas territories participated in the referendum that ratified it on September 28, 1958; and, third, initial acceptance was widespread, unlike the 1946 constitution, which on first draft was rejected by popular referendum and then in a revised form was only narrowly approved. In contrast, the 1958 constitution was contested by 85 percent of the electorate, of which 79 percent were in favor; among the overseas territories only Guinea rejected the new constitution and consequently withdrew from the French Community.

In order to achieve the political stability that was lacking in the Third and the Fourth Republic, the constitution of 1958 adopted a mixed (semi presidential) form of government, combining elements of both parliamentary and presidential systems. As a result, the parliament is a bicameral legislature composed of elected members of the National Assembly (lower house) and the Senate (upper house). The president is elected separately by direct universal suffrage and operates as head of state. The constitution gives the president the power to appoint the prime minister (often known as the premier), who oversees the execution of legislation. The president also appoints the Council of Ministers, or cabinet, which together with the prime minister is referred to as the government.

The French system is characterized by the strong role of the president of the republic. The office of the president is unique in that it has the authority to bypass the parliament by submitting referenda directly to the people and even to dissolve the parliament altogether. The president presides over the Council of Ministers and other high councils, signs the more important decrees, appoints high civil servants and judges, negotiates and ratifies treaties, and is commander in chief of the armed forces. Under exceptional circumstances, Article 16 allows for the concentration of all the powers of the state in the presidency. This article, enforced from April to September 1961 during the Algerian crisis, has received sharp criticism, having proved to be of limited practical value because of the stringent conditions attached to its operation.

De Gaulle’s great influence and the pressures of unstable political conditions tended to reinforce the authority of the presidency at the expense of the rest of the government. Whereas the constitution (Article 20) charges the government to “determine and direct” the policy of the nation, de Gaulle arrogated to himself the right to take the more important decisions, particularly concerning foreign, military, and institutional policies, and his successors adopted a similar pattern of behaviour. The constitution of 1958 called for a presidential term of seven years, but, in a referendum in 2000, the term was shortened to five years, beginning with the 2002 elections.

The role of the prime minister, however, has gradually gained in stature. Constitutionally, the office is responsible for the determination of governmental policy and exercises control over the civil service and the armed forces. Moreover, while all major decisions tended to be taken at the Élysée Palace (the residence of the president) under de Gaulle, responsibility for policy, at least in internal matters, has slowly passed to the head of the government. Especially since the mid-1970s, a working partnership between the president and the prime minister has tended to be established. Finally, the power of the president is tied to the parliamentary strength of the parties that support him and that form a majority in the National Assembly. It is possible, however, for the president’s parties to become a minority in the assembly, in which case the president must appoint a prime minister from the majority faction. Beginning in 1986, France experienced several periods of divided government, known as “cohabitation,” in which the president and the prime minister belonged to different parties.

The National Assembly is composed of 577 deputies who are directly elected for a term of five years in single member constituencies on the basis of a majority two-ballot system, which requires that a runoff take place if no candidate has obtained the absolute majority on the first ballot. The system was abandoned for proportional representation for the 1986 general election, but it was reintroduced for the 1988 election and has remained in place ever since. In 2012 the Senate was composed of 348 senators indirectly elected for six years by a collège électoral consisting mainly of municipal councillors in each département, one of the administrative units into which France is divided. The parliament retains its dual function of legislation and control over the executive but to a lesser extent than in the past. The domain of law (Article 34) is limited to determining the basic rules and fundamental principles concerning such matters as civil law, fiscal law, penal law, electoral law, civil liberties, labour laws, amnesty, and the budget. In these matters the parliament is sovereign, but the government can draw up the details for the application of laws.

The government is responsible for all other matters, according to Article 37 of the constitution, and the assemblies can in no way interfere; the Constitutional Council is responsible for ensuring that these provisions are respected. The parliament can temporarily delegate part of its legislative power to the government, which then legislates by ordinances. This procedure has been used on matters concerning Algeria, social security, natural disasters, European integration, and unemployment. Finally, government and the parliament are advised by an Economic and Social Council, composed of 230 representatives of various groups (e.g., trade unions and employers’ and farmers’ organizations) that must be consulted on long-term programs and on developments and that may be consulted on any bill concerning economic and social matters.

The right to initiate legislation is shared by the government and the parliament. Bills are studied by parliamentary committees, although the government does control the agenda. The government can also, at any point during the debate over a bill, call for a single vote on the whole of the bill’s text. Parliamentary control over the government can be exercised, but it is less intense than in the British system. There are questions to ministers challenging various aspects of performance, but these take place infrequently and are primarily occasions for lesser debates and do not lead to effective scrutiny of the government’s practices. Committee inquiries are also relatively rare. The National Assembly, however, has the right to censure the government, but, in order to avoid the excesses that occurred before 1958 (as a result of which governments often fell once or twice a year), the motion of censure is subject to considerable restrictions. Only once in the first 50 years of the Fifth Republic, in 1962, did the National Assembly pass a motion of censure, when it stalled de Gaulle’s referendum for direct election of the president by universal suffrage, which ultimately met with approval. The government is also strengthened by its constitutional power to ask for a vote of confidence on its general policy or on a bill. In the latter case a bill is considered adopted unless a motion of censure has obtained an absolute majority.

The people may be asked to ratify, by a constituent referendum (Article 89), an amendment already passed by the two houses of the parliament. The constitution made provision for legislative referenda, by which the president of the republic has the authority to submit a proposed bill to the people relating to the general organization of the state (Article 11).

This procedure was used twice in settling the Algerian question of independence, first in January 1961, to approve self-determination in Algeria (when 75 percent voted in favor), and again in April 1962, approving the Évian Agreement, which gave Algeria its independence from France (when 91 percent voted in favor). The use of this latter procedure to amend the constitution without going through the preliminary phase of obtaining parliamentary approval is constitutionally questionable, but it led to a significant result when, in October 1962, the election of the president by universal suffrage was approved by 62 percent of those voting. In April 1969, however, in a referendum concerning the transformation of the Senate into an economic and social council and the reform of the regional structure of France, fewer than half voted in favour, and this brought about President de Gaulle’s resignation.

Through the end of the 20th century, national referenda were met with low voter turnout. The procedure was used in 1972 for the enlargement of the European Economic Community (EEC) by the proposed addition of Denmark, Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom; in 1988 for the proposed future status of the overseas territory of New Caledonia; and in 1992 for approval of the Maastricht Treaty, which established the European Union. In 1995, when minor modifications were made to the constitution, the use of the referendum was enlarged to include proposed legislation relating to the country’s economic and social life. In 2000 a referendum shortened the presidential term from seven to five years. A 2005 referendum on a proposed constitution for the European Union was soundly defeated, and the setback forced EU officials to consider alternative means to further European integration.

The Constitutional Council is appointed for nine years and is composed of nine members, three each appointed by the president, the National Assembly, and the Senate. It supervises the conduct of parliamentary and presidential elections, and it examines the constitutionality of organic laws (those fundamentally affecting the government) and rules of parliamentary procedure. The council is also consulted on international agreements, on disputes between the government and the parliament, and, above all, on the constitutionality of legislation. This power has increased over the years, and the council has been given a position comparable to that of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The main units of local government, defined by the constitution as collectivités territoriales (“territorial collectivities”), are the régions, the départements, the communes, and the overseas territories. A small number of local governments, known as collectivités territoriales à statut particulier (“territorial collectivities with special status”), have slightly different administrative frameworks; among these are the island of Corsica and the large cities of Paris, Lyon, and Marseille.

One of the main features of decentralization in French government has evolved through the creation of the régions. These include the 21 metropolitan régions of mainland France as well as the 5 overseas regions of Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Mayotte, and Réunion. (The overseas régions are simultaneously administered as overseas départements.) Although Corsica is still commonly described as one of 22 régions of metropolitan France, its official status was changed in 1991 from région to collectivité territoriale à statut particulier; its classification, unique among France’s local governments, provides Corsica greater autonomy than the régions.

After a number of limited changes lasting two decades, a 1982 law set up directly elected regional councils with the power to elect their executive. The law also devolved to the regional authorities many functions hitherto belonging to the central government, in particular economic and social development, regional planning, education, and cultural matters. The régions have gradually come to play a larger part in the administrative and political life of the country.

The région to an extent competes with the département, which was set up in 1790 and is still regarded by some as the main intermediate level of government. With the creation in 1964 of new départements in the Paris region and the dividing in two of Corsica in 1976, the number of départements reached 100: 96 in metropolitan France and 4 overseas (Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, and Réunion, which are simultaneously administered as régions). In 2009, residents of Mayotte voted overwhelmingly in favor of département status, and two years later it became France’s fifth overseas (and its 101st total) département. Each département is run by the General Council, which is elected for six years with one councillor per canton. There are between 13 and 70 cantons per département. The General Council is responsible for all the main departmental services: welfare, health, administration, and departmental employment. It also has responsibility for local regulations, manages public and private property, and votes on the local budget.

A law passed in 1982 enhanced decentralization by increasing the powers and authority of the départements. Formerly, the chief executive of the département was the government-appointed prefect (préfet), who also had strong powers over other local authorities. Since the law went into effect, however, the president of the General Council is the chief executive and the prefect is responsible only for preventing the actions of local authorities from going against national legislation.

The commune, the smallest unit of democracy in France, dates to the parishes of the ancient régime in the years before the Revolution. Its modern structure dates from a law of 1884, which stipulates that communes have municipal councils that are to be elected for six years, include at least nine members, and be responsible for “the affairs of the commune.” The council administers public land, sets up public undertakings, votes on its own budget, and over recent years has played an increasing role in promoting local economic development. It elects a mayor and the mayor’s assistants. Supervision by the central government, once very tight, has been markedly reduced, especially since 1982.

The mayor is both the chief executive of the municipal council and the representative of the central government in the commune. The mayor is in charge of the municipal police and through them ensures public order, security, and health and guarantees the supervision of public places to prevent such things as fires, floods, and epidemics. The mayor also directs municipal employees, implements the budget, and is responsible for the registry office. French mayors are usually strong and often dominate the life of the commune. They are indeed important figures in the political life of the country.

French communes are typically quite small; there are more than 36,500 of them. Efforts have been made to group communes or to bring them closer to one another, but these have been only partly successful. In certain cities, such as Lyon and Lille, cooperative urban communities have been created to enable the joint management and planning of a range of municipal services, among them waste disposal, street cleaning, road building, and fire fighting. A similar approach has been adopted elsewhere, including rural areas, with the establishment of syndicats intercommunaux that allows services to be administered jointly by several communes. Moreover, since the 1999 law on Regional Planning and Sustainable Development, the communes within urban areas of more than 50,000 inhabitants have been encouraged to pool resources and responsibilities to promote joint development projects by means of a new form of administrative unit known as the communauté d’agglomération.

The status of many of France’s overseas territories—vestiges of the French Empire—changed in the 1970s. Independence was proclaimed in 1975 by the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Comoros, with the exception of Mayotte (Mahoré) island, which chose to remain within French rule; in 1977 by Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa; and in 1980 by the Anglo-French Pacific Ocean condominium of the New Hebrides, under the name of Vanuatu. Mayotte was elevated to the status of territorial collectivity in 1976, and in North America the island territory of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon was elevated to the same status in 1985. France granted Mayotte, known as a departmental collectivity from 2001, the status of overseas département in 2011.

The only places retaining overseas territory status are French Polynesia (with its capital at Papeete on the island of Tahiti), New Caledonia, the Wallis and Futuna islands in the Pacific, and the Adélie Land claim in Antarctica. These territories have substantial autonomy except in matters reserved for metropolitan France, such as diplomacy and defense. They are governed through various but similar administrative structures, usually involving an elected council and a chief executive, but they are subject to the tutelage of a representative of the French Republic. A 1998 decision regarding New Caledonia envisaged the progressive transfer of political responsibilities to the island over a period of 15 to 20 years.

In France there are two types of jurisdictions: the judiciary that judges trials between private persons and punishes infringements of the penal law and an administrative judicial system that is responsible for settling lawsuits between public bodies, such as the state, local bodies, and public establishments, as well as private individuals.

For civil cases the judiciary consists of higher courts (grande instance) and lower courts (tribunaux d’instance), which replaced justices of the peace in 1958. For criminal cases there are tribunaux correctionnels (“courts of correction”) and tribunaux de police, or “police courts,” which try minor offenses. The decisions of these courts can be referred to one of the 35 courts of appeal. Felonies are brought before the assize courts established in each département, consisting of three judges and nine jurors.

All these courts are subject to the control of the Court of Cassation, as are the specialized professional courts, such as courts for industrial conciliation, courts-martial, and, from 1963 to 1981, the Court of State Security, which tried felonies and misdemeanors against national security. Very exceptionally, in cases of high treason, a High Court of Justice (Cour de Justice de la République), composed of members of the National Assembly and of senators, is empowered to try the president of the republic and the ministers. They can also be tried by this court if they have committed felonies or misdemeanors during their term of office. These are the only situations in which the Court of Cassation is not competent to review the case. Otherwise, the court examines judgments in order to assess whether the law has been correctly interpreted; if it finds that this is not the case, it refers the case back to a lower court.

The more than 5,000 judges are recruited by means of competitive examinations held by the National School of the Magistracy, which was founded in 1958 and in 1970 replaced the National Centre for Judicial Studies. A traditional distinction is made between the magistrats du siège, who try cases, and the magistrats de parquet (public prosecutors), who prosecute. Only the former enjoy the constitutional guarantee of irremovability. The High Council of the Judiciary is made up of 20 members originally appointed by the head of state from among the judiciary. Since 1993, however, its members have been elected, following reforms designed to free the judiciary from political control. The Council makes proposals and gives its opinion on the nomination of the magistrats du siège. It also acts as a disciplinary council. Public prosecutors act on behalf of the state. They are hierarchically subject to the authority of the minister of justice. Judges can serve successively as members of the bench (siège) and the public prosecutor’s department. They act in collaboration with, but are hierarchically independent of, the police.

One of the special characteristics of the French judicial system is the existence of a hierarchy of administrative courts whose origins date to Napoleon. The duality of the judicial system has been sometimes regarded unfavorably, but the system has come to be gradually admired and indeed widely adopted in continental European countries and in the former French colonies. The administrative courts are under the control of the Council of State, which examines cases on appeal. The Council of State thus plays a crucial part in exercising control over the government and the administration from a jurisdictional point of view and ensures that they conform with the law. It is, moreover, empowered by the constitution to give its opinion on proposed bills and on certain decrees.

Civil / National Aviation Authority (CAA/NAA)

The DGAC, the French Civil Aviation Authority, is responsible for ensuring the safety and the security of French air transport, as well as maintaining a balance between the development of the air transport sector and environmental protection. It is the national regulatory authority, but it also provides safety oversight, air navigation services and training. He is a partner of key players in the aeronautical industry and he is also in charge of financial aid for research in aircraft construction and state industrial policy in this sector.

Airspace

SkyVectorGoogle MapsADS-B Exchange

ICAO countries publish an Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). This document is divided into three parts: General (GEN), En Route (ENR) and Aerodromes (AD). ENR 1.4 details the types of airspace classes they chose to adopt from classes A through G. France eAIP

Airspace Classification

U-Space

U-space: digital drone air traffic management

Since 2012 in France and more widely since 2019 in Europe, drone flights have had a regulatory framework aimed at offering the best conditions for the civil operation of these flying machines while preserving safety. These rules for access to airspace are supplemented by a solution common to all countries of the European Union and called “U-space”.

U-space facilitates the use of drones that is safe and protective of the environment and privacy. With entry into force on January 26, 2023, the U-space regulatory framework benefits all operators, service providers, companies, communities and citizens concerned by the use of civilian drones.

U-space refers to air traffic management of UAS, with a high level of automation and digitization, guaranteeing a safe integration of these drones into airspaces from a point of view. view of security and safety, but also respectful of the environment and protection of privacy.

The principle of U-space is the systematic use, in certain airspaces, of a set of digital services provided online to UAS operators or remote pilots. These services are designed for flight safety, including that of manned aviation.

All airspaces with a particular need – safety, security, environment or privacy – related to drones are likely to benefit from a “U-space”. This can concern any type of airspace, whether controlled or not, in urban or rural areas, around aerodromes or even in the airspaces of airports.

The U-space is based on 3 main elements:

  • Airspaces designated U-space by the State and in which the vast majority of aircraft flying there are drones. These spaces can be penetrated by manned aircraft under certain conditions:
  • Standardized digital services called “ U-space services ”. Four of these services are compulsorily provided to UAS operators inside U-space spaces. The providers of these services are called “U-space service providers” (USSP or U-space service provider). They must have a European certificate issued by the national authority of a European State or by EASA;
  • Common information services ( CIS or common information service), forming a basic digital infrastructure for each U-space. They consist of the provision of data allowing the use of U-space services and therefore circulation in U-space (e.g. information on airspace and traffic) for the needs of USSPs but also air navigation service providers, drone operators and all other stakeholders (eg Air Force).
    A single service provider in a U-space area may be designated by the State to provide these CIS services. This type of service provider is called a single CISP (common information service provider). He must also have a European certificate.

 

Drone Regulations

Drone laws

European regulations cover the design, maintenance and, to a large extent, the operation of drones, including training requirements and operator obligations. It is common to all EU Member States and is also applied by certain third countries (such as Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland). It therefore has the advantage of harmonizing the requirements in all EU Member States.
European regulations base their requirements solely on the risk levels of operations:

  • the Open category for low-risk operations,
  • the specific category for moderate-risk operations, and finally
  • the certified category for high-risk operations.

The commercial or professional nature of an operation is not taken into account in the risk assessment.
National regulatory texts remain applicable, in particular to regulate matters falling under national authorities, such as security or the use of French airspace.

These pages provide an overview of the main steps to follow for a drone operator. This content is complemented by guides published by the Direction de la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile

Guides

Whether you are an operator in an open or specific category, remote pilot or owner of a remotely piloted aircraft, AlphaTango® will allow you to carry out most of the administrative procedures necessary for your activity online.

Model Aircraft Associations

Aeromodelling is a historical activity which was governed by national regulations. European Regulation (EU) 2019/947 has entered into force but allows Member States to define and enforce national rules for model aircraft associations. This is the choice made by France, by defining at national level the safety requirements applicable to model aircraft and their remote pilots when these activities are carried out within a model aircraft association.

All the elements appearing on this page come from the Guide intended for model aircraft associations . Its reading is highly recommended! For any additional information, a Frequently Asked Questions is available below. This FAQ is taken from the now closed Slido Q&A site.

Q&A on European regulatory transition

European regulation 2019/947 concerns the use of unmanned aircraft on board and the requirements applicable to their operators. Although this regulation thoroughly reviews the operating conditions of aircraft without a crew on board, its article 16 allows Member States to define and apply national rules to model aircraft associations. This is the choice made by France, by defining at national level the safety requirements applicable to model aircraft and their remote pilots when these activities are carried out within a model aircraft association: these requirements are the subject of the “aeromodelling associations” decree which comes into force on December 31, 2020. The decree of December 17, 2015 relating to the design of civil aircraft which circulate without anyone on board,

This order applies to the operation within model aircraft associations:

  • of a model aircraft in view of its remote pilot;
  • of a model aircraft with a mass less than or equal to 2 kg, flying out of sight of its remote pilot (case of FPV practice), at a maximum horizontal distance of 200 meters from this remote pilot and at a maximum height of 50 meters, in the presence of a second person in view of this aircraft and responsible for ensuring the safety of the flight by informing the remote pilot of possible dangers;
  • a model aircraft with a mass of less than 1 kilogram which, once launched, evolves within the framework of autonomous operation by following the movements of the atmosphere and whose flight does not last more than 8 minutes (cf. case of aircraft uncontrolled §3.3).

Aeromodelling activities within aeromodelling associations must be the subject of an activity localization.

A model aircraft association can make a request to locate an activity by completing the CERFA 15478*02 form to be sent to the territorially competent DSAC/IR (see DSAC-IR contact details).

The activity location, published in the aeronautical information ( AIP ), includes the practical methods and in particular the maximum flight heights and whether night flying is authorized.

Any operation outside these locations of activity is described in the decree of December 3, 2020 relating to the use of airspace by aircraft without crew on board (article 5). This decree mentions in particular (but not exclusively):

  • the prohibition of flights above public space in built-up areas,
  • the obligation to notify flights in certain portions of airspace for model aircraft weighing more than 900 grams,
  • a maximum flight height of 120 meters.

Registration and registration of aircraft – Aircraft over 800g must be registered by their owner on the AlphaTango website. This portal allows a remote pilot to carry out all their procedures online. For more details, refer to the page dedicated to AlphaTango.

This obligation to register also applies to all aircraft concerned by electronic reporting (see below). Once the aircraft is registered, its owner is required to affix the registration number to the aircraft and must keep with him an extract from the register of remotely piloted aircraft. This extract must be able to be presented to the authorities in the event of an inspection.

Aircraft over 25 kg must be registered and checked in. The applicable procedure is available below:

Electronic and light signaling – This obligation applies to unmanned aircraft with a mass greater than or equal to 800 g.

Model aircraft categories – The regulations distinguish two categories of model aircraft:

Category A: Model aircraft with a mass of less than 25 kg, non-motorized or comprising a single type of propulsion and respecting the following limitations:

  • Thermal engine(s): total displacement ≤ 250 cm3
  • Electric motor(s): total power ≤ 15 kW
  • Turboprop(s): total power ≤ 15 kW
  • Reactor(s): total thrust ≤ 30 daN, with a thrust/weight ratio without fuel ≤ 1.3
  • Hot air: total mass of gas in cylinders on board ≤ 5 kg

Any captive model aircraft with mass ≤ 150 kg

Category B: all model aircraft not respecting the characteristics of category A

Category B model aircraft can only be used after obtaining an authorization issued by the DGAC

General remote pilot requirements – In France, the minimum age to fly a drone over 800g as a remote pilot is 14 years old. The remote pilot must have undergone training and answered an online questionnaire with 100% correct answers (the number of attempts is unlimited).

This training can either be followed on the Open Category Training site or provided by the FFAM or UFOLEP, two federations whose training is recognized by the DGAC.

The certificate obtained is to be kept by the remote pilot who must be able to present it to the authorities in the event of an inspection.

If the remote pilot is not aged 14 or over or does not hold a training certificate, he must fly on a declared site, under the supervision of a person aged 16 or over and holder of the training certificate.

Special provisions are planned for international competitions, allowing foreign remote pilots to pilot in France for a limited period within the framework of these competitions.

For category B aircraft, the remote pilot must have proven his competence during a test flight and be mentioned on the aircraft’s flight authorization.

Training for pilots in model aircraft associations – The training set up by the DGAC, mandatory for aircraft weighing 800g or more, is recommended for everyone: it presents the essential rules and best practices in the form of videos and fun practical exercises. See the Training sheet for pilots in model aircraft associations.

Usage restrictions – Usage restrictions aim to ensure the safety of other airspace users as well as that of property and people on the ground.

Thus, there are restrictions on the places of flight and on the maximum authorized flight heights. These restrictions are published through aeronautical information, which makes it possible to consult permanent (AIP), urgent or temporary (NOTAM and SUP AIP) aeronautical information.

Outside model aircraft sites, the maximum overflight height is 120 m. Restrictions limiting the height to 120 m exist, for example in the vicinity of aerodromes.

The Geoportal map dedicated to restrictions for the flight of recreational drones will allow you to check your flight possibilities.

In general, the following are prohibited in model aircraft:

  • flights in public spaces in built-up areas,
  • night flights,
  • flying over gatherings of people,
  • the dropping of loads off model aircraft sites,
  • flights “out of sight” of the remote pilot, except in cases where the pilot flies “in immersion” with the assistance of an observer.

Since January 2021, the Civil Aviation Service of French Polynesia (SEAC-PF) has posted a map dedicated to restrictions for drone flights on the main islands of the Society archipelago.

Increase in maximum overflight heights outside model aircraft sites. – At places where the maximum permitted flight height is set at 120 m, the aircraft may rise to a maximum height of 150 m, depending on the conditions:

  • The aircraft is equipped with a telemetry system in working order allowing the remote pilot to know its height precisely;
  • The remote pilot is assisted by a visual observer in charge of detecting conflicts with other aircraft in the model aircraft’s range;
  • the remote pilot holds a training certificate issued by an aeromodelling association Law 1901 and registered as a UAS operator on AlphaTango , according to a program relating to the regulations applicable to unmanned aircraft on board used within the framework of aeromodelling associations , on the use of unmanned aircraft on board outside the locations of activity, on the risks associated with the proximity of other airspace users, on the verification and use of aircraft telemetry equipment , on the control of the height of the aircraft and the applicable limits, on the methods of coordination between remote pilot and observer, and on the procedures applicable in the event of detection of another aircraft.

Protection of the privacy of individuals – Individuals’ right to privacy must be respected. The people present must at least be informed if the aircraft is equipped with a camera or any other sensor likely to record data concerning them.

Any dissemination of an image making it possible to recognize or identify people (faces, license plates, etc.) must be authorized by the persons concerned or the owner in the case of a private space (house, garden, etc. ) and this dissemination must respect the rights to the image, privacy and private property of individuals.

Map of restricted areas for the Open category and model aircraft in metropolitan France – The map of restricted areas for the Open category and model aircraft in metropolitan France can be viewed on Geoportail.

The DGAC has developed with the help of the IGN (National Institute for Geographic and Forest Information) an interactive map of restrictions for recreational drones. It represents in a simplified and easily understandable way zones between 0 and 120m, on the whole of the French metropolitan territory, in which the flights of aircraft circulating without people on board are subject to prohibitions or restrictions. This map is based on the decree of December 3, 2020 relating to the use of airspace by aircraft circulating without anyone on board.

In areas where restrictions apply, flights are either totally prohibited or subject to specific authorization by the area manager. Flight in an open category without authorization is therefore not possible. In built-up areas, the flight of drones in the Open category is prohibited in public spaces.

The use of this card must be complementary and not substitute for a good knowledge of the regulations. Consultation of the “Open category” guide is essential.

Card support can be contacted at dgac-carte-drones@aviation-civile.gouv.fr.

While this map allows for an extended visualization of space restrictions, users’ attention is drawn to some current limitations:

  • private heliports are not included in the current version;
  • temporary bans on flying over natural areas during nesting periods are not represented. The existence of these zones is known in the prefecture;
  • In general, for all areas created on a temporary basis, it is advisable to consult the website of the Aeronautical Information Service.

Publication in FRANCE of geographical zones for aircraft without crew on board – Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 of 24 May 2019 concerning the rules and procedures applicable to the operation of unmanned aircraft on board provides in its article 15 that information relating to geographical areas for unmanned aircraft crew on board established for geovigilance purposes are made public by the States in a single and common digital format.

A geographical area is a part of the airspace in which special conditions apply to the operation of UAS for reasons of security, privacy and protection of personal data, safety or environmental.

In France, including in its overseas departments and communities, the special conditions that apply in the geographical areas are established by regulatory texts, including the decree of December 3, 2020 relating to the use of airspace by unmanned aircraft.

Geographical areas can take the form, for example, of controlled airspace, restricted or prohibited areas, hearts of national parks or areas signaling the presence of an establishment bearing a mark prohibiting overflight at low altitude. .

The first catalog of information relating to geographical areas is available in EUROCAE ED-269 format on the SIA website .

The file is accompanied by an explanatory notice which specifies in particular the conditions of use of this information and the procedures for updating it. It is up to the remote pilot to ensure that he complies with the regulations in force, in particular with regard to prohibitions on overflight below a certain height, which apply in national airspace.

Links and Resources – Guides published by the DSAC:

These guides, in the launch version, are continuously updated to incorporate the latest national regulatory references.

In addition, an introductory presentation intended for all categories of operators and manufacturers is also available.

For any additional information and questions, a question/answer site is available to you: we invite you to ask your questions or to vote for the questions asked by the other participants. The DSAC will answer the most frequently asked questions.

European regulations

  • Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 of 12 March 2019 on unmanned aircraft systems and third country operators of unmanned aircraft systems on board
  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 of 24 May 2019 concerning the rules and procedures applicable to the operation of unmanned aircraft on board

 

Punishments

The decree setting the criminal penalties applicable in the event of breaches of the obligations introduced by the law of November 24, 2016 was published on November 28, 2019.

For the use of unmanned aircraft on board with a mass greater than 800 grams, the lack of training of the remote pilot and of registration of the aircraft by its owner are now punishable by a fine.

Shooting

Training for remote pilots in model aircraft associations

Training intended for remote pilots in possession of an aircraft with a mass equal to or greater than 800g.

U-space: digital drone air traffic management

Since 2012 in France and more widely since 2019 in Europe, drone flights have had a regulatory framework aimed at offering the best conditions for the civil operation of these flying machines while preserving safety. These rules for access to airspace are supplemented by a solution common to all European Union countries and called “U-space”. U-space facilitates the use of drones that is safe and protective of the environment and privacy. With entry into force on January 26, 2023, the U-space regulatory framework benefits all operators, service providers, companies, communities and citizens concerned by the use of civilian drones.

U-space refers to air traffic management of unmanned aircraft (UAS), with a high level of automation and digitization, guaranteeing a safe integration of these drones into airspaces from a point of view. view of security and safety, but also respectful of the environment and protection of privacy.

The principle of U-space is the systematic use, in certain airspaces, of a set of digital services provided online to UAS operators or remote pilots. These services are designed for flight safety, including that of manned aviation.

All airspaces with a particular need – safety, security, environment or privacy – related to drones are likely to benefit from a “U-space”. This can concern any type of airspace, whether controlled or not, in urban or rural areas, around aerodromes or even in the airspaces of airports.

The 3 key elements of U-space

The U-space is based on 3 main elements:

  • Airspaces designated U-space by the State and in which the vast majority of aircraft flying there are drones. These spaces can be penetrated by manned aircraft under certain conditions:
  • Standardized digital services called “ U-space services ”. Four of these services are compulsorily provided to UAS operators inside U-space spaces. The providers of these services are called “U-space service providers” (USSP or U-space service provider). They must have a European certificate issued by the national authority of a European State or by the European Union Agency for Aviation Safety (EASA);
  • Common information services ( CIS or common information service), forming a basic digital infrastructure for each U-space. They consist of the provision of data allowing the use of U-space services and therefore circulation in U-space (e.g. information on airspace and traffic) for the needs of USSPs but also air navigation service providers, drone operators and all other stakeholders (eg Air Force).
    A single service provider in a U-space area may be designated by the State to provide these CIS services. This type of service provider is called a single CISP (common information service provider). He must also have a European certificate.

The U-space regulatory framework is based on three European Union regulations and a set of Acceptable Means of Compliance and EASA Guides:

Inside U-space, the following four services must be provided by USSPs to UAS operators:

  • Network ID service that enables continuous processing of UAS remote identification, operator registration, and dissemination of information about their operations, including drone and remote pilot positions
  • Geovigilance service , which informs UAS operators of applicable operating conditions in U-space and airspace constraints, including possible changes to the configuration of the space in which it is cleared to fly ( dynamic airspace reconfiguration )
  • UAS Flight Authorization Service , which grants UAS operators flight authorizations based on operating area interference with U-space constraints and other flight activities; the flight authorization service also provides for the review, or even the suspension, of each authorization according to changes in the conditions of evolution inside a U-space
  • Traffic Information Service , which aims to provide the UAS operator with information about any other discernible air traffic, including manned, that may be occurring near the UAS flight’s intended position or route and to allow him to take the necessary measures to avoid any risk of collision

The use of weather information service or compliance monitoring service may also be required by regulation, based on the airspace risk assessment . These optional services can also be offered at the initiative of the USSPs.

The performance of services provided by USSPs are specified based on an airspace risk assessment performed as part of the designation of each U-space.

Single USSPs and CISPs must have a certificate issued by the territorially competent national authority. It is the Civil Aviation Safety Department (DSAC) of the DGAC which is competent for the certification of these service providers whose main establishment is located in France. EASA is responsible for service providers who have their main establishment, are established or reside in a country outside the agency.

Certification is issued after instruction to service providers who can demonstrate their compliance with the applicable requirements of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/664 of 22 April 2021 on a regulatory framework for U-space and its AMCs.

Certification by the DSAC takes place in 7 stages:

  1. Declaration of candidacy by the candidate service provider
  2. Appointment by the DSAC of an agent within it responsible for certification and implementation of a certification plan in coordination with the candidate service provider
  3. Production of a certification file by the candidate service provider
  4. Study of the certification file by the DSAC
  5. Certification audit by the DSAC of the candidate service provider, if applicable
  6. Treatment of any non-conformities
  7. Issuance of the certificate, if applicable

After certification, the service provider enters the continuous monitoring phase by the DSAC.

Exchanges between service providers and the DSAC, which are related to their certification or continuous monitoring, are carried out with the METEOR application

For any questions relating to the certification and monitoring of USSP and CISP service providers, contact: dsac-u-space-certification-ld@aviation-civile.gouv.fr

A file allowing candidates to apply for the issue of the European certificate of U-space service provider or single provider of common information services will soon be made available.

CISP (Common Information Service Provider): Common information service provider. They are said to be “single common information service provider” (single CISP) when they are designated by a State to provide the common information services on an exclusive basis in all or part of a U-space airspace

U-space airspace: a UAS geographical area designated by Member States, in which UAS operations are only permitted with the support of U-space services

Airspace risk assessment: an assessment of operational risks and safety and security risks, taking into account the required levels of safety performance defined in the European plan for aviation safety and the national program safety measures referred to, respectively, in Articles 6 and 7 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139, the type, complexity and density of traffic, location, altitudes or heights and classification of the airspace

Electronic Perceivability: Ability to make itself permanently electronically perceivable to U-space service providers by one of the acceptable means of compliance with Regulation 2021/666 (e.g. ADS-B “Out” 1090 MHz)

Main establishment: the central administration or registered office of a U-space service provider or a common information service provider in the Member State in which the main financial functions and operational control of the provider are carried out Services

Dynamic Airspace Reconfiguration: the temporary modification of U-space airspace to accommodate short-term changes in manned aircraft traffic demand, by adjusting the geographical boundaries of that U-space airspace -space.

Common Information Service: a service disseminating static and dynamic data to enable the provision of U-space services for the purpose of traffic management of unmanned aircraft on board

U-space service: a service based on digital services and automation of functions, designed to ensure that a large number of UAS have secure, safe and efficient access to U-space airspace

UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) or “aircraft system without a crew on board”: any aircraft without a crew on board and the equipment used to control it remotely

 

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)

DGAC published the updated version of UAS in the specific category, and included UAM.

2022 – Urban air mobility flight tests in France a success

2022 – Air Mobility Testbed in France Launched: Open for UAM Ecosystem

2023 – eVTOLs Expected to Take Center Stage at Paris 2024 Olympic Games

2023 – Lilium, UrbanV to develop AAM infrastructure in Italy, France

2023 – Volocopter’s Christian Bauer on starting commercial eVTOL flights during 2024 Paris Olympics

2024 – Unifly’s UTM Platform Advances Urban Air Mobility in Europe

2024 – Lilium, UrbanV to launch eVTOL service in southern France

 

 

Short Essay Questions

Question 1

You have been hired by a Drone Startup Company. Your boss has immediately assigned this job to you.

They need you to prepare a one-page memo detailing the legalities of using a drone to film over Provence, pictured above.

They need you to mention any national laws and local ordinances.

They specifically want to know what airspace you will be operating in and whether or not you need an airspace authorization.

Does it matter whether or not you are a citizen of the country?

Lastly, there is a bonus for you if, as you scroll through this chapter, you find any typos or broken links!

Question 2

Do you need a certificate to fly UAS?

If so, how do you obtain one?

Are there fees associated with this?

If so, how much?

Question 3

May you operate beyond visual line of sight?

If so, what procedures must you follow?

Question 4

Does the country have UAM/AAM laws? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 5

Are you aware of any new laws or policies not mentioned above? If so, describe, citing the exact law or policy.

 

 

 

License

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Drones Across the World Copyright © 2023 by Sarah Nilsson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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