Aircraft Title & Registrations

One of the most important issues in the aviation industry is the proper registration of an aircraft, and the many issues that arise during the purchase or financing of an aircraft.  Each civil aviation administration has varying requirements in order to register an aircraft, including the types of documents that are required and whether there is a citizenship requirement, among other requirements.  Some countries are operator registries (meaning that an aircraft is registered in the name of the operator), while other countries are owner registries (meaning that the aircraft is registered in the name of the owner).  Registering an aircraft can be a complicated process, and having aviation counsel can certainly help you navigate through the many considerations and issues that can arise.

Other issues can arise during the registration process if you have a financing or lease structure involved in the transaction.  You will need to determine how to perfect those interests in your respective jurisdiction.  For example, in the United States, one of the types of structures that can greatly impact the registration of an aircraft are leases with purchase options.  If the purchase option in the lease is considered the equivalent of a conditional sales contract (your aviation counsel will need to analyze the purchase option to see if it meets the requirements), then the registration of the aircraft is proper in the name of the lessee instead of the lessor.  These types of scenarios need to be addressed and discussed at the outset of a transaction to avoid delays in the registration of the aircraft.

Another consideration during the registration process is determining whether your jurisdiction has ratified the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the related Aircraft Protocol (collectively the “Treaty”).  If your jurisdiction has ratified the Treaty, then there are additional topics to consider, including whether your jurisdiction requires an Authorized Entry Point code in order to register interests on the International Registry, the types of registrations to be completed and the order of same, and if all parties involved in the transaction have Transacting User Entities accounts, among others.  The Treaty adds another layer of complexity to any transaction, and needs to be discussed prior to any transaction to ensure that all necessary requirements are completed ahead of a closing.

Given the litany of issues that may arise during the aircraft registration process, the L2b Aviation expert lawyers have committed to summarizing the most relevant information in each of the jurisdictions where L2b members are present.  These summaries are only for reference purposes, and the facts of a particular transaction may change the documents needed or the registration process.

This publication should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances.  The contents are intended for general information only.

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