MPs defend France's smaller regional airports

An Air France and Easyjet plane on the ground at Paris Orly airport

Politicians describe regional airports and internal short-haul flights as "a vital necessity" for parts of the country that are "far from the metropolises"

Nearly 100 MPs have stood up in defence of France's regional airports following a bid to change the law that would have seen up to 50% of internal flights axed.

In an article in Journal du Dimanche, 93 parliamentarians from parties across the political spectrum described regional airports and internal short-haul flights as "a vital necessity" for parts of the country that are "far from the metropolises".

They spoke out after another group of MPs had tabled an amendment to the draft mobility law making its way through Parliament. The amendment to the draft of the Loi d'orientation des mobilités was one of several intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that have been added. It would have banned flights between French airports that were also served by regular railway services. Between 25% and 50% of all internal flights in France may have been affected if the amendment had passed.

But it was not adopted in the first reading of the draft law in the National Assembly - though the MPs who proposed it have vowed to fight on.

Their opponents said in JDD: "In recent weeks, we have witnessed an increase in attacks on aircraft

"Let there be no misunderstanding, we are not the representatives of any lobby. We are aware of the importance of changing our modes of transport and consumption to fight global warming ... but let us focus on incentive rather than punitive ecology," they continue.

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