France's decision to force its commercial airline pilots to speak English in the cockpit is causing some turbulence with Quebec.

The move, which Paris says is based on safety not culture, has infuriated the Parti Quebecois.

The province's Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Louise Beaudoin, has publicly accused France of surrender in the fight against "the imperialism" of English.

"I find it scandalous," she told reporters. "Just scandalous."

For years, English has been the main international language of aviation. More than 180 countries have signed a convention agreeing to use English in conversations between plane crews and control towers.

With Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris now one of the busiest in Europe, officials say it's imperative that all pilots understand all radio communciation.

Some crews recently complained they couldn't understand all the chatter in French over the air while they were taking off and landing.

So Air France has ordered all of its pilots to speak English over the radio to the control tower, where operators must also use English when responding.

Thirty years ago, Quebec pilots and air traffic controllers fought for the right to use French in the air. It remains one of the most symbolic victories in Quebec's language wars.

Today, Quebec's air traffic controllers say the use of French has never caused any close calls or other safety concerns.

Beaudoin plans to raise her concerns with France next week, when she and Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard travel to Paris.