Aruba: a high flying aircraft registry

| The European | 20th July 2016

Aviation Registry Group (ARG) is the parent company of the Registry of Aruba and San Marino Aircraft Registry. Both civil aviation companies, they are dedicated to promoting a culture of safety, high-level efficiency and personal boutique services. We caught up with ARG, CEO, Jorge Colindres, to learn more about the Registry of Aruba, and also to discover how the success of the Aviation Registry Group has become a family affair.

Q: What advantages does Aruba offer to those willing to register their aircraft in the jurisdiction?

Jorge Colindres: There are a number of reasons to register an aircraft in Aruba. Above all else, the main advantage we offer is personalised customer service combined with safety oversight.

From the moment a client makes initial contact, we appoint someone to handle the request – there is no wait time. We treat our clients as extended family.

The Registry of Aruba was established in 1995, becoming the first FAA rated Category 1 aircraft registry to outsource its administrative operations to an independent company.

We differentiate ourselves from a majority of our competitors by being able to register an aircraft in as little as 24-48 hours upon completion of the airworthiness inspection, and as long as all the necessary documentation is satisfactory upon receipt. Furthermore, we offer Designated Airworthiness Inspectors located worldwide, minimising aircraft down-time and expenses, and EASA Part 145, UAE, and Singapore certified MROs do not require an on-site audit.

In February 2014, Aruba enacted a new legislation to increase flexibility when registering an aircraft; by simply electing the option of domicile through appointing a local Aruban representative, you are able to maintain your existing company structure. Now qualified foreign legal jurisdiction, corporate entities, and US trustees can equip to register their aircraft in Aruba after electing domicile with a representative. Providing aircraft owners lexibility in the ownership and operation of their registered aircraft and preserves their current tax and ownership structure.

Commercial aircraft can be registered and operated in Aruba through an Aruban Air Operator Certificate (AOC) under AUA-OPS 1 regulation and having its principal place of business in Aruba; or under the umbrella of an ICAO article 83 bis agreement, if the aircraft already operates under a foreign AOC. The estimated time-frame for an Aruban AOC certification is two to three months, provided that the ministerial economic authority has been satisfied by the applicant and all the documentation, applications, and manuals submitted to the DCA are satisfactory upon review.

Q: Expand more on the services the Registry of Aruba provides.

JC: Aruba’s premier aircraft registry is used heavily by the world’s elite, international banks, financial institutions, and leasing companies that are widely involved in aircraft transactions.

The Registry of Aruba is available to private, corporate, and commercial operators with aircraft with a minimum MTOW (maximum take-off weight) of 5,700 kg and turbine helicopters with a minimum MTOW of 1,000 kg.

Due to our registry’s favourable operating structure and by outsourcing our administrative programme, we have allocated resources to add additional services not traditionally offered by normal aircraft registering jurisdictions, expanding our services into Safety Oversight and Safety Compliance.

Our team of reputable aviation consultants come from diverse fields within the industry (ex NAA: UK CAA, EASA, FAA, Australia CASA, ICAO experts, etc) and it is with their expertise that we are able to provide this unique service to numerous operators.

One of our greatest success stories that was developed through our Safety Oversight programme has been Air Astana. In 2009, Kazakhstan’s Civil Aviation was audited by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and found them to be noncompliant in many of the key areas of regulatory oversight. This resulted in a ban of all Kazakhstan registered airlines flying to the EU, with the exception of Air Astana due to them being under the DCA of Aruba’s oversight as well as being registered P4.

It is our aim to ensure the use of the best industry practices and standards, as well as to drive continuous enhancements to safety performance across the global aviation industry.

Q: Discuss some of the other benefits and features that come with registering an aircraft with Aruba.

JC: Aircraft with TC from FAA, EASA, Transport Canada, and Brazil can be registered in Aruba’s civil aviation registry. Aircraft registered in Aruba have the flexibility of customising their registration marks. Aruba’s P4 nationality prefix is followed by three letters, enabling the owner or operator to customise their aircraft with attractive and suggestive vanity tail combinations such as: P4- FLY, P4-BBJ, etc. The three letter combination can be personalised out of sequence at no cost, and transferred onto a different aircraft when no longer in use at anytime.

Currently in the registry, approximately 70% of our operation is private and the remainder are operating commercially, either under an Aruban AOC or under a foreign AOC, in which case Aruba has entered into an ICAO 83 bis agreement with the state of operation. Aruba has agreements in place with the following countries: Russian ederation, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, the USA, and is presently pursuing a MOU agreement with the Kingdom of Jordan.

Comlux Aviation Group, a Swiss and Maltese commercial operator with several Aruban private registered VVIP aircraft under management, was granted an Aruban AOC in 2011, under a subsidiary company Comlux Aruba N.V. to operate its largest aircraft, a Boeing B767-200ER with registration mark P4-CLA. In March 2016, Comlux Aruba N.V. was the first Aruban commercial operator to be granted their TCO by EASA. New aircraft are forthcoming under the Comlux Aruba N.V. AOC to supplement its VVIP operations; Boeing B777-200LR, P4-XTL and Airbus-A330-200, P4-CLX undergo completion at Greenpoint Technologies. VVIP operators Jet Magic based in Malta and Best Fly based in Angola are under going DCA of Aruba Air Operator Certification to join the ranks of Comlux Aruba N.V.

Q: Outline some of the ways that you innovate within your field.

JC: As the pioneers of outsourcing in the civil aviation regulatory industry, the ARG has earned the nickname the “Oracle of Aircraft Registries”.

The development of the first aircraft registry that outsourced its administrative operations to an independent company is a model which is now followed by many of the younger aircraft registries, such as our sister company San Marino Aircraft Registry.

This model has served us well and garnered us the reputation that we have today, and further allowed for increased flexibility, self-funding, and selfsustainability. This permits us to be at the forefront of the industry versus traditional jurisdictions, which rely on government budgets.

At the registry we have made it our mission to be constantly innovating and improving our product, we are our own worst critics, striving to develop the best product available for our clients.

In the early 2000s, when the registry was growing exponentially, we modernised our system to e-filing by creating an in house database called Aircraft Registration Management System (A.R.M.S). Throughout the years A.R.M.S. has become a great asset, not only for us but for our operators as well. A.R.M.S. keeps a thorough record of the registered aircraft under each specific operator. Our IT group is currently developing a mobile application that will be an extension of A.R.M.S.

We are always pushing the limit and trying to outdo ourselves, it keeps us motivated and it keeps things interesting. We relish challenging projects and are not afraid to enter into uncharted territories, it exemplifies why we pursued Air Astana.

Aruba’s reputation for pursuing ambitious projects led Comlux to turn to their subsidiary Comlux Aruba N.V. when they had a specific vision for one of their client’s VVIP Boeing 777-200LR. Comlux Aruba N.V. will operate the first certified flying casino in the world for Genting Group, a Malaysia conglomerate and owners of Crystal Cruises.

Aruba is innovative and stands as a leader among aircraft registries, offering one-of-akind, personalised registration solutions to clients across the globe.

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