5:02 PM, September 25, 2023

Cayman Islands Registry: a smooth ride

| The European | 28 January 2019

The Cayman Islands Aircraft Registry (The Registry) is the registry of choice for many aircraft owners, financiers, management companies, attorneys and other key decision makers.

Stringent standards and a mandate for absolute safety guide the oversight of Cayman registered aircraft. It has been operating as a reputable offshore aircraft registry since the early 1970s and has an outstanding safety record.

The dedicated technical team at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) work with aircraft operators on annual plans to ensure regulatory timelines are met and where appropriate, optimal flexibility is afforded.

CAACI works closely with Cayman Islands’ industry experts in the legal, financial and company registration sectors to ensure sound and secure transactions for the initial aircraft registration or changes thereafter.

CAACI staff are highly qualified and experienced in regulatory oversight and in working with aircraft management and maintenance organisations to ensure compliance with internationally mandated standards.

CAACI operates in accordance with a statutory instrument that is predicated on UK legislation. These legislative requirements are found in the “Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order 2013,” AN(OT)O (and subsequent amendments) which contains regulations governing the operational and airworthiness requirements of Cayman registered aircraft.

Processes for registering and maintaining aircraft include the following:

  • Submission of application for registration by respective individuals or a company
  • Persons or corporations wishing to register an aircraft must prove eligibility and meet due diligence requirements
  • Compliance with stipulated CAACI Airworthiness Requirements
  • Compliance with CAACI Flight Operational Requirements
  • Appropriate licensing of flight crew
  • Maintenance Organisation Approval
  • Radio Licence Application via the Information & Communications Technology Authority of the Cayman Islands (ICTA)
  • Physical Survey of aircraft
  • Payment of associated fees

Jurisdiction of choice

The Cayman Islands provides a credible, politically stable jurisdiction for aircraft registrations. As a leading tax neutral international financial centre, the English legal system (Privy Council in England being the jurisdiction’s final court of appeal) provides owners and financiers of aircraft certainty and confidence. The register has traditionally been deemed a “private” register. However, the CAACI in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Government and the islands’ special economic zone – Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) – has introduced an alternative means for compliance with the “principal place of business” criteria to allow offshore air operator’s certificates to be granted for certain commercial operations. Such applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Another example of exceptional service is VP-C Online. This bespoke electronic data management system provides a secure way to manage documentation online: this includes registration applications, certificates and authorisations. VP-C Online is a convenient way for CAACI clients to apply for authorisations that are required for initial aircraft registration and for continuing airworthiness and operations.

CAACI recognises the importance of aircraft lessors. Many of CAACI’s clients in aircraft ownership and operation depend on lessors. This is a valuable relationship they wish to foster through an insightful and collaborative understanding of the dependencies of the industry.

The company has introduced material processes, online portals and bespoke products all specifically designed to support the interests of lessors. CAACI is working to establish long-term relationships with lessors that will provide ready solutions where aircraft registration support is required, with emphasis beyond the registration process. CAACI’s focus is to offer a transition register, which is supported by highly experienced full-time personnel in view of equipment being offered to new lessees in multiple jurisdictions. In addition to existing functionality VP-C Online is being modified to include a lessor module whereby a lessor can apply for a VP-C Online account. This account will provide ready access to the aircraft of a particular lessor which has been registered in the Cayman Islands. This unique feature will ensure that the lessors have access to the status of airworthiness and operational certifications.

With a focus on the quality of service and flexibility, CAACI continues to set itself apart from other jurisdictions. It remains committed to offering a personal, responsive and high-quality service to its customers, and to finding innovative and efficient solutions to the needs of those they work with.

Further information

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