Business aviation is a tremendous economic force

The Chairman of the Board of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur played his cards right: Business aviation is booming.


For the Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA), what does it mean for the Cannes-Mandelieu airport to now be able to accept 35-ton aircraft, compared to the previous limit of 22 tons? Dominique Thillaud: We are seeing a strong trend in business and leisure aviation. Our customers are using increasingly large aircraft. Of course, this means greater comfort, but because these planes have bigger fuel loads, they can travel longer distances nonstop, thereby saving time. It’s worth noting that 80% of business flights are made by executives or entrepreneurs. Business aviation is first and
foremost a business tool.

In a globalized market, what are the advantages to business aviation other than the time savings? You can’t manage everything from headquarters. Travel is essential to making decisions in the right place at the right time with the right people. In this world of ceaseless competition, confidentiality is also key – naturally, being able to travel discreetly is critical, with respect to both competitors and financiers.

You have made development of business aviation a strategic objective for the ACA. Where do things stand in your development plan? For the French Riviera, business aviation is vital. It gives all decision-makers who come here the guarantee they can remain connected with the rest of the world from this region. It is time to acknowledge that France has become the leading business aviation market in Europe. With the new tonnage authorized at Cannes, we can accommodate planes that make nonstop trips from Los Angeles or Hong Kong to Cannes.