France is about to close 13 airports of entry including St-Tropez.
French authorities might soon decide to close 13 airports of entry on the French territory.
This unilateral decision from the French Economic and Financial Affairs Ministry - which are responsible for the customs in France – would deprive those airports from international traffic and prevent British, Russians or Middle-eastern passengers to land there.
The airports affected by this measure are mainly used for private and general aviation traffic :
- Abbeville (XAB, LFOI) (North of France)
- Agen - La Garenne (AGF, LFBA)
- Amiens – Glisy (QAM, LFAY)
- Annemasse (QNJ, LFLI)
- Besançon - La Vèze (LFQM)
- St Tropez – La Môle (LTT, LFTZ)
- Lannion (LAI, LFRO) (Britanny)
- Le Castellet – Riviera International (CTT, LFMQ)
- Lognes-Emeraiville (Paris area)
- Montbéliard – Courcelles (XMF, LFSM)
- Nevers - Fourchambault (NVS, LFQG)
- Vichy – Charmeil (VHY, LFLV)
- La Roche sur Yon – Les Ajonc (EDM, LFRI)
What is likely to happen? For instance, with the removal of those thirteen French airports of entry it will no more be possible to fly from London to St Tropez or from Le Castellet to Moscow.
The impact of such a decision could be important especially considering the appeal of Russian and Middle Eastern customers for the French Riviera and the fact that most of the non-schengen air traffic in France is coming from or going to the United Kingdom. In addition to the touristic impact, this measure could deprive some regions from a non negligible source of economic developpement. Private aviation being indeed a solution for investors to visit companies that they finance in places non served by commercial scheduled airlines.
Industry professionals, in particular the Union des Aéroports Français (French Airports Union) are campaigning for alternative options allowing to reconcile state’s economical concern and local developement. The prefered solution, however, would be to have customs available upon request (48h prior to departure) as it is already the case in some French airports even though this means less lexibility for private aviation.