This short Q&A references 20 key points to think about on aviation deals in France describing practical things aircraft lessors and financiers need to be aware of in relation to their operations in France and/or with French lessors.
French aviation authority:
1. Which government authority has primary responsibility for the regulation of aviation and the registration of aircraft in France?
The registre français d’immatriculation des aéronefs maintained by the French Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (the “DGAC”) in Paris Orly records title in relation to French registered aircraft, as well as aircraft mortgages and lease agreements.
2. What are the fees for registering an aircraft in France?
Fees are nominal. There is a DGAC registration fee of €91 to be paid for the first registration of an aircraft in France (i.e. for a new aircraft or an aircraft previously registered abroad). There is no registration fee to be paid for the filing of a lease agreement or a mortgage with the DGAC.
A fee of €6 is payable in order to obtain a registry extract.
3. Are there any restrictions on the legal status and/or nationality of parties seeking to register an aircraft in France?
Aircraft can be registered in France with the DGAC either if they are (i) owned by EU or EEA citizens or legal entities or (ii) operated by an airline whose operating license (licence d’exploitation) and air transport certificate (certificat de transport aérien) have been granted by the French (not another European) authorities (the list of which, as of 2021, is set out here).
As required by Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008, any French (or EU) airline must be majority owned and effectively controlled by EU member states and/or nationals of member states at all times.