USA – Oklahoma City
Contributor: Erin M. Van Laanen, Attorney, McAfee & Taft
1. Which authority is in charge of the civil aviation registry in USA – Oklahoma City? Does USA – Oklahoma City use a single-registry system or is there a dual-registry system in place?
The United States Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) is in charge of the civil aviation registry. The FAA uses a single-registry system, with ownership and registration records maintained on the same registry as the records of liens and encumbrances.
2. Is the registry an operator registry or an owner registry (or both)?
A US-registered aircraft is registered with the FAA registry in the name of its owner. The aircraft owner is normally the holder of legal title, but under certain circumstances the registered owner may be considered the vendee under a contract of conditional sale or the lessee under a lease with a nominal purchase option. The FAA does not allow for registration in the name of a nominee.
3. What are the requirements and documentation to register an aircraft in USA – Oklahoma City? Include references to formalities such as notarisation, legalization, etc.
In order to register aircraft with the FAA, every applicant for registration must submit evidence of the applicant’s ownership of the aircraft (e.g., a bill of sale) and an FAA AC Form 8050-1 Aircraft Registration Application. If the applicant is a limited liability company, the applicant must also submit a Statement in Support of Registration of United States Aircraft in the Name of a Limited Liability Company (“LLC Statement”) setting forth the membership and management of the applicant entity. If the applicant is the trustee under a trust agreement, the applicant must submit the trust agreement, a notarized affidavit of citizenship, and any operating agreement between the trustee and beneficial owner. Except for any LLC Statement (which may be a scanned photocopy/PDF), the foregoing documents must be wet ink originals or digitally executed documents that comply with the FAA’s requirements for digital signatures.
If an international flight is scheduled soon after title to the aircraft transfers, the applicant should also submit a declaration of international operations (“DIO”), which will prompt the FAA registry to issue a “fly wire” temporary registration.
4. What fees are payable to register an aircraft in USA – Oklahoma City?
The current registration fee is $5.00 USD per aircraft. This does not include any recording fees for liens or encumbrances filed contemporaneously with the registration documents. This also does not include any fees for the reservation or assignment of United States Registration Numbers.
5. Are there any weight and/or maximum age restrictions to register an aircraft in USA – Oklahoma City?
6. Does registration of an aircraft in the national registry constitute proof of ownership under the laws of USA – Oklahoma City?
Registration of an aircraft with the FAA is not conclusive proof that the registered owner holds legal title to the aircraft. The FAA does not issue certificates of title or endorse ownership information on a COR. The registered owner might not hold legal title, such as when an aircraft is registered in the name of a vendee under a conditional sale contract. Additionally, the FAA’s publicly available record of the registered owner might not reflect documents recently filed with or submitted to the FAA to transfer title and register the aircraft in the name of a new owner. Importantly, once a title transfer has occurred the registration of the aircraft in the previous owner’s name is no longer valid, even if no documents have been filed with the FAA to reflect the transfer.
7. How is an aircraft title transfer effected in USA – Oklahoma City? What are the formalities required to register such title transfer in the national registry of USA – Oklahoma City (e.g., notarization, legalization etc.)? Please summarize the related costs and procedures.
As noted in item #3 above, an applicant for registration must file with the FAA written evidence of the applicant’s ownership of the aircraft, such as a bill of sale. The bill of sale or other title conveyance is recorded with the FAA, provided that it meets the FAA’s requirements for recording. Following submission and processing of acceptable title transfer and registration documents, the FAA registry will update the registration records for the aircraft and issue the COR to the new owner. The same $5.00 USD registration fee noted above applies. The FAA generally does not require notarization or legalization of title transfer instruments, but local (e.g., state) law may require notarization or legalization.
8. What information and details are reflected in the certificate of registration of an aircraft?
The FAA AC Form 8050-3 Certificate of Aircraft Registration includes the following information:
- The manufacturer, model, serial number, and United States Registration Number of the aircraft
- The name and address of the registered owner of the aircraft (which may not be a P.O. Box number)
- The type of registration (based on the registered owner’s entity type)
- The ICAO Aircraft Address Code
- The date the FAA AC Form 8050-3 Certificate of Aircraft Registration was issued
- The date the FAA AC Form 8050-3 Certificate of Aircraft Registration expires
9. Are the entries in the aircraft registry of USA – Oklahoma City made available to the public upon submission of a specific application to the competent authority? Are there any fees payable for this?
Title, registration, security, lease, trust, and other documents filed with the FAA registry are maintained in the FAA’s public records. Members of the public may obtain copies of aircraft records from the FAA for a fee. Limited information regarding an aircraft’s registered owner and registration status is available free of charge on the FAA’s website. However, this information may not account for title or registration documents filed with the FAA but not yet processed.
10. What kind of aircraft operations can be conducted with aircraft registered in USA – Oklahoma City (i.e., private use, commercial air transport or both)?
Aircraft registered in the U.S. may be operated for both private use and commercial air transport. The aircraft owner and operator should consult with appropriate counsel to ensure that the aircraft is operated in accordance with applicable FAA regulations.
11. Does the civil aviation authority in USA – Oklahoma City authorise the operation of foreign registered aircraft? If so, with which countries has USA – Oklahoma City entered into bilateral agreements on the basis of article 83-bis of the ICAO Chicago Convention for the delegation of regulatory oversight?
The FAA authorizes the operation of certain foreign-registered aircraft in United States airspace. The U.S. has not entered into any bilateral agreements on the basis of article 83-bis of the ICAO Chicago Convention for the delegation of regulatory oversight.
12. Is there a separate register of aircraft mortgages and/or leases and/or security interests in USA – Oklahoma City?
There is no separate register of aircraft mortgages and/or leases and/or security interests. Records of such conveyances are maintained by the FAA in the same registry as records of ownership and registration.
13. What are the formalities required to register a mortgage / lease / security interest in the national registry of USA – Oklahoma City (e.g., notarization, legalization etc.)? Please summarize the related costs and procedures.
To record a mortgage, lease, or other security instrument with the FAA against a US-registered airframe, eligible engine, or eligible propeller, the parties must file a wet ink original counterpart (or a digitally executed counterpart in compliance with the FAA’s requirements for digital signatures) of the instrument with the FAA registry. The instrument must conform to the FAA’s requirements for recording, including but not limited to proper equipment descriptions and signatory titles. The parties should consult with appropriate counsel prior to filing to ensure the instrument conforms to the FAA’s requirements and avoid rejection. The FAA generally does not require such instruments to be notarized or legalized; however, local (e.g., state) law may require notarization or legalization.
The recording fee is $5.00 USD for each US-registered airframe, eligible engine, and eligible propeller covered by the instrument (with a separate fee for each instrument). See item #15 below for more information regarding the eligibility of aircraft engines and propellers for recording with the FAA.
14. Is a mortgage priority notice an available security instrument for aircraft financiers in USA – Oklahoma City?
No. Only present conveyances are recordable with the FAA.
15. Does an aircraft mortgage duly registered in the national registry of USA – Oklahoma City extend to engines and other parts of such aircraft (either installed or not on the airframe)?
A mortgage, lease, or other security instrument covering aircraft engines and propellers of sufficient size/power is recorded separately against the airframe, each engine, and each propeller. This is true regardless of whether the engine or propeller is currently installed on the relevant airframe. Additionally, parties may record a mortgage or other security instrument against any aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance maintained by or for an air carrier certificated under 49 U.S.C. 44705, for installation or use in an aircraft, aircraft engine, or propeller, or any spare part, maintained at a designated location or locations by or for such an air carrier.
Aircraft engines capable of producing 550 or more rated take-off horsepower, or the equivalent of that horsepower, are eligible for recording with the FAA. Propellers capable of absorbing 750 or more rated take-off shaft horsepower are eligible for recording with the FAA. The instrument must specifically describe the engine or propeller (including the manufacturer, model, and serial number) and indicate whether its horsepower or thrust rating meets the minimum threshold.
Please note that the FAA does not maintain registration or ownership records for engines or propellers.
16. What statutory liens (if any) would rank prior to an aircraft mortgage duly registered in the national registry of USA – Oklahoma City?
The creation, validity, perfection, and priority of statutory liens is governed by state law. Accordingly, whether any statutory lien would rank prior to an aircraft mortgage duly registered with the FAA registry varies from state to state. Statutory liens are not recordable with the FAA registry unless state law provides for such recording.
17. Do the laws of USA – Oklahoma City provide for possessory rights and/or rights of detention over aircraft in favor of third parties (such as airport taxes, customs duties, air navigation charges, crew’s wages, MRO’s receivables)?
As a general matter, non-consensual liens are a matter of local (e.g., state) law. Subject to state recording requirements, non-consensual liens may be eligible for recording with the FAA.
18. Are foreign law-governed security agreements (e.g., mortgages) recognized in USA – Oklahoma City in order to validly create a security interest over an aircraft registered in the national registry of USA – Oklahoma City? If so, are there any formalities/requirements to bear in mind?
Yes, foreign law-governed security agreements are recognized in the U.S. The creation, validity, and priority of a security interest is governed by local law. Perfection of a security interest in a U.S.-registered airframe requires that the instrument creating the security interest be filed for recordation with the FAA registry, even if the instrument is governed by foreign law. A foreign law-governed security instrument must comply with the FAA’s recording requirements (as discussed above).
The FAA may also record a foreign law-governed security instrument against eligible engines and propellers so long as the instrument has a U.S. “nexus.” The U.S. nexus requirement may be satisfied in a number of ways, including the involvement of a U.S. debtor or creditor.
19. Are foreign law-governed leases recognized in USA – Oklahoma City in order to validly lease an aircraft registered in the national registry of USA – Oklahoma City to a lessee incorporated in USA – Oklahoma City? If so, are there any formalities/requirements to bear in mind?
Yes, foreign law-governed leases are recognized in the U.S. The discussion in item #18 above regarding foreign law-governed security agreements is also applicable to foreign law-governed leases.
20. Has USA – Oklahoma City ratified the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the related Aircraft Protocol? Has USA – Oklahoma City made any declarations to better determine the scope of application of the Convention / Protocol in USA – Oklahoma City? If so, what is the impact of such declarations on aircraft registration issues? Are there any specific aspects relating to the enforcement of IDERA’s to be considered?
The U.S. has ratified the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the related Aircraft Protocol. The U.S. lodged declarations under Sections 39(1)(a)-(b), 54(2) of the Convention and Sections XIX, XXX(1) (including Articles VIII, XII and XIII) of the Aircraft Protocol.
Registration of interests on the International Registry is necessary under U.S. law to perfect the parties’ interests in airframes, helicopters, and engines which are covered by the Cape Town Convention. The U.S. established the FAA registry as an authorising entry point to the International Registry with respect to civil aircraft of the U.S. or an aircraft for which a U.S. identification number has been assigned. In order for a registration with the International Registry to be valid as to such aircraft or helicopter, the parties must request and obtain a unique authorisation code from the FAA registry by filing (i) a completed FAA AC Form 8050-135, and (ii) any documents representing the transaction that are recordable with the FAA (such as the mortgage, lease, or bill of sale). The code is used when making registrations with the International Registry. For prospective international interests, the documents must be filed with the FAA within 60 days of the date of the filing of the FAA AC Form 8050-135.
The FAA will accept an IDERA filed against a U.S.-registered airframe in connection with a security agreement or lease which qualifies as a conditional sale contract. The FAA will not accept an IDERA filed in connection with a true, operating lease. The FAA will deregister the airframe at the request of an IDERA holder, provided that the IDERA holder provides certain written certifications regarding prior interests.
21. What are the requirements and documentation to deregister an aircraft from USA – Oklahoma City? How does the aircraft deregistration process work?
Deregistration may be made at the request of the last registered owner of the aircraft, the last owner of record (if a title transfer instrument is filed with the FAA but the aircraft is not registered to the new owner prior to deregistration), or the holder of an IDERA. The request for deregistration must state the reason for deregistration (e.g., export, retirement from service) and certify that all registered interests ranking in priority to that of the party requesting deregistration have been discharged or the holders of such interests have consented to the deregistration of the Aircraft. If the aircraft is being exported, the request for deregistration must state the country of export.
If an IDERA is on file with the FAA and has not been released, only the IDERA holder may request deregistration for export. If the owner requests deregistration for export, the parties must file a release of the IDERA executed in ink (or digitally executed in compliance with the FAA’s requirements for digital signatures) by the IDERA holder. The FAA deems an IDERA to have expired when the related security instrument has been released. The FAA also deems an IDERA to be ineffective for FAA registry purposes when the related security instrument has been assigned. If the request for deregistration is made by an IDERA holder, the request must be accompanied by a Priority Search Certificate from the International Registry and copies of the consent(s) to export or discharge(s) of lien(s) by the holders of any registered interest ranking in priority to that of the IDERA holder (as evidenced by the Priority Search Certificate).
If any unreleased security instruments or leases exist at the time deregistration is requested, the parties must then file releases or terminations of such instruments or consents to deregistration for export by the relevant parties. Such releases, terminations, or consents must be wet ink originals or digitally executed documents that comply with the FAA’s requirements for digital signatures.
Once the deregistration request and any required releases, terminations, or consents have been filed with the FAA, the FAA will process the documents on an expedited basis (if deregistration is requested for export purposes) and issue a notice of deregistration. If deregistration is requested for a purpose other than export, the FAA will process the documents and deregister the aircraft in its normal course of business.
22. What fees are payable to deregister an aircraft from USA – Oklahoma City?
There are no fees payable to the FAA registry to deregister an aircraft from the U.S. The parties should engage appropriate counsel or other experts to advise on any fees related to customs or import/export issues.
23. Is the consent of the mortgagee / lessor (as the case may be) required in order to deregister an aircraft from USA – Oklahoma City?
Yes. See discussion in item #20 above.
24. What are the usual practical difficulties (if any) involved in deregistering aircraft from USA – Oklahoma City?
From an FAA registry perspective, the deregistration process is as outlined herein. To avoid delay, the parties should obtain FAA and International Registry searches in advance to identify any encumbrances requiring discharge or consent prior to requesting deregistration. The parties should also engage appropriate counsel or other experts to advise on any customs or import/export issues.
25. How long does deregistration take, both where there is co-operation from the defaulted party (mortgagor / lessee / Operator) and where there is no such co-operation from it?
The FAA will typically process the deregistration documents and issue the notice of deregistration within 72 hours of filing (not including weekends or federal holidays).
If the defaulted party is uncooperative, an IDERA holder (if any) may request deregistration. If the secured party does not hold an IDERA, then the secured party should engage appropriate counsel to determine alternative courses of action (e.g., repossession).
If the parties do not file releases or consents by all lienholders, then the FAA registry will delay deregistration until the necessary releases or consents are filed. If a release or consent is not obtainable, then the parties should engage appropriate counsel to explore alternatives with the FAA.
26. Please outline the applicable repossession rules under the national laws of USA – Oklahoma City (and the Cape Town Convention, if applicable) following an event of default under a mortgage or a lease, including registration issues with the national registry in USA – Oklahoma City.
In the U.S., the laws governing repossession and foreclosure vary from state to state. The repossessing party should engage appropriate local counsel to ensure that the repossession or foreclosure is conducted in accordance with applicable local law.
Upon completion of repossession or foreclosure, the repossessing party may file documents with the FAA to register the aircraft in its name or evidence of the transfer of title to a subsequent buyer. The repossessing party should engage appropriate counsel to ensure that the proper documentation is filed with the FAA.