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  • Writer's pictureMoyse & Associates

Legal development concerning private pilot's license of Russian citizens in the EU

Moyse & Associates is pleased to inform you of a significant legal development following the ruling of the General Court of the European Union (T-233/22) on December 20, 2023, resulting from the annulment action initiated on behalf of its client. This case has led to a notable change in position by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and relevant national authorities.

 

According to the new guidelines adopted by EASA and national authorities, Russian citizens, as well as European citizens holding Russian citizenship, are no longer subject to flight restrictions and can now exercise the privileges of their private pilot's license to travel, land, and fly over the territory of the European Union on aircraft not registered in Russia and not owned, chartered, or controlled by Russian individuals or entities.

 

The ruling also provides crucial clarifications regarding the scope of Article 3d of Regulation No. 833/2014 as amended, particularly concerning the concept of being "controlled by [a Russian person]". The General Court favoured the interpretation of the Council of the European Union, focusing on economic and financial control, over the extensive interpretation proposed by the European Commission, which emphasized technical control.

 

Russian citizens, as well as European citizens holding Russian citizenship, can now fully enjoy their rights and pilot leased aircraft, whether free of charge or paid, or belonging to aeroclubs of which they are members, for private activities.

 

Moyse & Associates welcomes this significant clarification regarding fundamental rights, as well as the delicate balance struck by the General Court in the sensitive context of restrictive measures adopted against Russia.

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