Flight sharing is the sharing of the costs of non-commercial general aviation aircraft flights between a licensed pilot and their passengers.
With the rise of the Internet, numerous websites have appeared to coordinate the meeting of private pilots with willing passengers for particular flights.
Flight sharing is legal in the United States, under the terms of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) prescribed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). However, the FARs include a few caveats. Per regulation 61.113(c), a private pilot is prevented from making a profit off such a flight:
- (c) A private pilot may not pay less than the pro rata share of the operating expenses of a flight with passengers, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees.
The rules also state that the pilot and passengers must share a "common purpose" in the flight.
In Summer 2014, the FAA shut down two flight-sharing platforms, Flytenow and AirPooler. Flytenow appealed to a federal court. On December 18, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia "denied [Flytenow's] request to overturn the Federal Aviation Administration’s ban on Flytenow and other online flight-sharing websites." The court ruled that these flight-sharing services were "common carriers," in part, due to the fact that these services were offered to the general public.
In the European Union, flight sharing is authorized for light aircraft by the article 6 § 4 bis a) of the law n° 965/2012 enacted on October, 5th 2012. Several flight sharing startups were created in Europe, and especially in France, including Wingly.
- Constine, Josh (2014-04-02). "AirPooler Is Lyft For Private Planes". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
- "§61.113(c) Private pilot privileges and limitations: Pilot in command". AeroManual.com. United States: AeroManual.com. 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
- Yodice, Kathy (March 2007). "AOPA Legal Briefing: Sharing the cost of flying". AOPA. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
- "AirPooler and Flytenow Are No Longer Operating". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- Uber, but for planes, Politico, 08/23/15
- "Flytenow To Argue Ride-Share Case In Court - AVweb flash Article". www.avweb.com.
- "Flytenow Blog: The Beginning of the End". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Flytenow Inc. v. Federal Aviation Administration Administrator" (pdf). Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- Coavionnage, le site du droit aérien
- Wingly, la start-up de co-avionnage, 2015, Le Point