The summer was not really calm, on the side of the various French airports. Companies multiplied, this summer, breaches of curfew rules at French airportsin particular at Paris-Orly, the scene of “deliberate failures”, accused the independent authority controlling these nuisances on Thursday.
“We have seen a very strong increase in overflow flights”, beyond the start of the curfew, in force on several airport platforms including the Ile-de-France, or in violation of the companies’ commitments, declared the president of the Authority. Airport Nuisance Control (Acnusa), Gilles Leblanc.
These airliners late and landing in the middle of the night, this “obviously causes an increase in local tensions” and protests from local residents’ ociations and political leaders, he warned.
This problem is, according to Gilles Leblanc, due to flight programs that are too ambitious and have no margin for error: the model of low-cost airlines consists of having their aircraft fly all day, chaining rotations, and any delay is reflected up to at the end of the day.
Fines not dissuasive
At Orly, subject to curfew from 11:30 p.m., late planes can request exemptions from the General Directorate of Civil Aviation to land after this limit. If they don’t get it, they divert to Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle (CDG), where the curfew is at 00:30, but it also happens that they land after the fateful hour. And the next day, “they leave Roissy early for a 10-minute flight to reposition themselves at Orly”, was indignant Gilles Leblanc, denouncing a “calamitous health, environmental and climatic record”.
In July alone, CDG saw “113 arrivals in presumption of failure” – the fault not being characterized until the case has been judged -, of which 50 were diverted from Orly. Some companies have even forced the curfew at Orly, an offense which can cost them up to 40,000 euros in fines but which is not necessarily dissuasive according to Gilles Leblanc.
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In Nantes too, the situation is “very problematic”: “We have already received 183 prosecution files” for alleged violation of the curfew since the beginning of the year, against “210 last year for the whole of year,” he revealed.
And if the companies tend to place the responsibility for these delays on air traffic control – indeed in a tense situation in Europe -, Gilles Leblanc believes, in view of the files investigated, that they are mainly due to a “disorganization” of the carriers.