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24 January 2014


Thanks Stuart, for this much-needed clarification.

I have posted this as an original article (rather than an answer to the question about FR-only) so that it goes out to our mailing-list subscribers.

I can still see some slight confusion―does this French Language rule apply to airfields which are ‘controlled’ AND marked ‘FR Only’ or does it apply to any airfield marked ‘FR Only’?

For example, Marmande, where I had a bit of French-language back-seat driver ‘aggro’ a few years back, is marked as ‘FR Only’ but is also marked as ‘ATS Nil’.

Abbeville is also ‘ATS Nil’ but doesn’t mention anything about language.



Les I can see your point.

The basic rule being if radio is mandatory and it's FR Only then French language qual is obligatory.

If it's just A/A listed and non radio obligatory like St Junien then no qual is needed at all.

Stuart Morton

Ah – I see in the ‘small print’ for Marmande that radio is mandatory though marked as A/A and FR ONLY.

St Junian, on the other hand, is marked as A/A with no mention of radio or FR.

Conclusion: French qualification needed for Marmande but not for St Junian.

They don’t make it easy!!



You got it capt.

I think there are only 5 or 6 in the whole of France

Might be worth scanning and putting a copy of that on the post.

This is the first time I have ever heard of the requirement for a French language tested qualification to use an airfield in France.

Since 1977 I have been flying in/out of such fields in G reg aircraft without difficulty.

I learned the normal reporting phrases and have not had any problems - other than my appalling “English accent”.

Calls from French (and other pilots) are all pretty obvious - except for the hatter around gliding or microlite sites!

If this is a new regulation then how are we supposed to know - and how is it EASA compliant?



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