While looking at the first implementation of Fly-By-Wire systems, I see that the 7X was the first business jet with fly-by-wire controls.
Looking at the Wikipedia page for the aircraft, I saw this photo of the cockpit and noticed the ashtray in front of the sidestick on either side:

Dassault Falcon 7X Cockpit

Why would there be an ashtray in the cockpit?
The Telegraph states that they are still present in aircraft toilets due to a FAA regulation that requires an ashtray be present in the event that a cigarette is lit and needs to be extinguished. However this doesn't cover the flight deck, surely the FAA doesn't assume a pilot will light-up during flight?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think they are ash trays, probably just a convenient pocket for things like pens, cell phones, flash lights, whatever is in the pilots pockets... $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 22:07
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling Above the suspected ashtray there is an image of a cigarette being extinguished, similar to the image embossed on ashtrays in airplane toilets. This gives the impression that the intended use is not as earlier commented by Ron. $\endgroup$
    – reidi2000
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 22:20
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    $\begingroup$ @reidi2000 Fair enough; I couldn't tell at first what that was supposed to depict (and didn't delve too deeply into it, to be honest). Now that you point it out, I agree. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 8:07
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    $\begingroup$ To Ron's credit, the actual ashtrays aren't present in the picture. The placard is saying "put ashtray here". $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 14:49
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    $\begingroup$ At first glance the two ramp workers looked like bobbleheads on the dashboard :D $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 17:54

2 Answers 2


In the United States, the smoking ban only applies universally to air carriers on scheduled flights. The regulation states

§252.4 Smoking ban: air carriers. Air carriers shall prohibit smoking on the following flights:

(a) Scheduled passenger flights.

(b) Nonscheduled passenger flights, except for the following flights where a flight attendant is not a required crewmember on the aircraft as determined by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration:

(1) Single entity charters.

(2) On-demand services of air taxi operators.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to require air carriers to permit smoking aboard aircraft.

So for essentially all of the Falcon's missions, such as Part 91 corporate flights, and private charters under 10 passengers, smoking is permitted, as long as an "adequate number of self-contained, removable ashtrays" are provided (14 CFR 23.853(c)(1) or 25.853(f)).

Said ashtrays from a factory photo: Falcon jet cockpit

Closeup found here: Ashtray closeup

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    $\begingroup$ Correct answer, I know many private pilots (all over 60, TBH) that have the habit of "lighting one up" during the less stressful phase of the flight on their personal private airplane, mostly long finals glides on gliders.... $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ In Europe and the US both AFAIK smoking in the workplace is not allowed. So unless you're flying your own aircraft and it's not owned by a company you wouldn't be allowed to smoke in it. This extends even to one man operations, a guy in England was fined for smoking in his van because it had corporate markings on it (he was self-employed), the same would go for aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 6:17
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    $\begingroup$ @jwenting In the US, normal workplace rules, through OSHA, do not apply to aviation. Only FAA rules apply. (Along with train, truck, ship operators) $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ In general in the US, rules about smoking (except things like airplanes because "interstate travel" and other reasons) in the workplace, in various buildings, etc. are state or local regulations. There are few, if any, "nationwide" regulations for everyone when working. As a more recent example, mask rules vary widely by state/county/etc. and even in (at least most) places in the US where masks are required, if you are in a room by yourself you are not required to wear a mask. Similarly (though sometimes a bit more strict) if you are in a building of your own by yourself smoking is allowed. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2021 at 19:24

Yes, there are no prohibitions on smoking in airplane cockpits. Those are indeed ash trays. Those of you who have traveled to Europe, especially France(!) where this airplane is made, will know that LOTS of people smoke and are free to smoke in many places that prohibit it in the U.S.

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    $\begingroup$ Mind providing a source? $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Commented Feb 6, 2023 at 2:12

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