France Transportation - 2023


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National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 19 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 553

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 70,188,028 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 4,443,790,000 (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix



464 (2021)

Airports - with paved runways


civil airports: 64

military airports: 22

joint use (civil-military) airports: 5

other airports: 204

note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports - with unpaved runways


note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control


1 (2021)


15,322 km gas, 2,939 km oil, 5,084 km refined products (2013)


total: 27,860 km (2020) 16,660 km electrified

narrow gauge: -5 km


total: 1,053,215 km (2011)

paved: (2011)

urban: 654,201 km (2011)

non-urban: 399,014 km (2011)


metropolitan France: 8,501 km (1,621 km navigable by craft up to 3,000 metric tons) (2010)

Merchant marine

total: 549

by type: container ship 32, general cargo 49, oil tanker 26, other 442 (2022)

note: includes Monaco

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s):
Atlantic Ocean: Brest, Calais, Dunkerque, Le Havre, Nantes
Mediterranean Sea: Marseille

container port(s) (TEUs): Le Havre (3,018,550) (2021)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Dunkerque, Fos Cavaou, Fos Tonkin, Montoir de Bretagne

river port(s): Bordeaux (Garronne); Nantes - Saint Nazaire (Loire); Paris, Rouen (Seine); Strasbourg (Rhine)

cruise/ferry port(s): Calais, Cherbourg, Le Havre

Transportation - note

note 1: begun in 1988 and completed in 1994, the Channel Tunnel (nicknamed the Chunnel) is a 50.5-km (31.4-mi) rail tunnel beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover that runs from Folkestone, Kent, England to Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais in northern France; it is the only fixed link between the island of Great Britain and mainland Europe

note 2: France operates two icebreakers, one PC 3 or 4 class icebreaker based in French Polynesia for operations in Antarctica and one PC 5 or 6 class icebreaker based in the North Atlantic
note - PC indicates a Polar Class vessel: PC 3 - year-round operation in second-year ice which may include multi-year ice inclusions (ice thickness up to 2.5 m); PC 4 - year-round operation in thick first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions (ice thickness up to 120 cm); PC 5 - year-round operation in medium first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions (ice thickness up to 70-120 cm); PC 6 - summer/autumn operation in medium first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions (ice thickness up to 30-70 cm)

NOTE: The information regarding France on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of France 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about France 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.