Contributor: Pendl Mair Attorneys at Law
Author: Rudolf Pendl
1. Which authority is in charge of the civil aviation registry in Austria? Does Austria use a single-registry system or is there a dual-registry system in place?
Based on the European Union Regulation (elDAS Regulation) and Austrian Regulation (E-Government-Act), Austro Control GmbH electronically signs certificates and issues the documents either in electronic or in paper format (since July 1, 2023).
2. Is the registry an operator registry or an owner registry (or both)?
The official signature must have certain features that ensure the security of the signature or seal itself and the validity of the document when printed on paper. Section 19 of the E-Government Act states that, in addition to the figurative mark and information on the verifiability of the signature or seal, it must also contain an indication that the document has been officially signed.
The validity of the certificate can be checked on this website: https://www.rtr.at/TKP/was_wir_tun/vertrauensdienste/ Signatur/signaturpruefung/Pruefung.de.html.
3. What are the requirements and documentation to register an aircraft in Austria? Include references to formalities such as notarisation, legalization, etc.
No, Austro Control does not have an electronic register for Aircraft Documents.
Austro Control only has an Aircraft Register for Civil Aircrafts (aeroplanes, rotorcraft and powered sailplanes). It is possible to check the assignment of registration marks, registration, change of registration and deregistration of aircraft in this register.
4. What fees are payable to register an aircraft in Austria?
See Question 3.
5. Are there any weight and/or maximum age restrictions to register an aircraft in Austria?
In general, the use of digital certification documents will be valid and enforceable. However, certain exceptions may apply.
6. Does registration of an aircraft in the national registry constitute proof of ownership under the laws of Austria?
All initial and subsequent submissions (lawsuits, responses, motions, pleadings, appeals, claims, etc.), including enclosures, can be transmitted to and received electronically and securely by Austrian courts and public prosecutors’ offices (initial submissions only) via the Electronic Legal Communication of the Judiciary (ERV). Lawyers are even obligated to use ERV.
7. How is an aircraft title transfer effected in Austria? What are the formalities required to register such title transfer in the national registry of Austria (e.g., notarization, legalization etc.)? Please summarize the related costs and procedures.
There are different types of electronic signatures: “simple” electronic signature, qualified electronic signature and administrative signature (“Amtssignatur”).
Depending on the security level and the certificate, the signed documents have different effects.
Documents provided with a “simple” (e.g., scan copy) electronic signature are subject to the free evaluation of evidence by the judge in court proceedings. Thus, there is also no legal certainty.
According to Art. 25 (2) eIDAS Regulation, the qualified electronic signature fulfills the legal requirement of a wet signature. In order to generate a qualified electronic signature, the signatory must have a qualified certificate, in addition to a qualified signature creation device, such as a smart card with the corresponding signature software.
The administrative signature is issued by an authority to PDF documents such as official notices.
8. What information and details are reflected in the certificate of registration of an aircraft?
A qualified certificate must meet certain technical requirements (Art. 28 & Annex I of the eIDAS Regulation), such as electronic signature validation data corresponding to the electronic signature creation data. Since electronic signatures are legally equivalent to wet signatures, the electronic signature does not have to be expressly agreed to in a contract. However, please note that there are some exceptions regarding family law, inheritance law or suretyships.
9. Are the entries in the aircraft registry of Austria made available to the public upon submission of a specific application to the competent authority? Are there any fees payable for this?
Certificates from the European Union or the European Economic Area are generally equivalent to certificates from Austrian trust service providers. This especially applies to qualified certificates.
Certificates from third countries can be used in the European Union or the European Economic Area for non-qualified electronic signatures or seals (see Articles 25 (1) and 35 (1) of the eIDAS Regulation). However, they are only considered qualified certificates if they are issued within the framework of a trust service recognized under an agreement concluded between the Union and the third country concerned or an international organization pursuant to Article 218 TFEU.
10. What kind of aircraft operations can be conducted with aircraft registered in Austria (i.e., private use, commercial air transport or both)?
11. Does the civil aviation authority in Austria authorise the operation of foreign registered aircraft? If so, with which countries has Austria entered into bilateral agreements on the basis of article 83-bis of the ICAO Chicago Convention for the delegation of regulatory oversight?
For electronically issued documents that are forwarded electronically to the competent authority without media disruption, the data contained in the electronic signature or seal certificate can be confirmed by using an electronic signature confirmation (apostille) if the technical and organizational requirements are met.
Please note that Austro Control generally does not require notarized documents for the registration process of aircraft.
a. Has Austria implemented the e-Apostille program?
Yes, according to the Apostille Act, electronic apostilles are equivalent to paper apostilles and are recognized by the contracting states to the “Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.”