The Cayman Islands Aircraft Registry (the Registry) is the registry of choice for many owners and management companies with corporate aircraft. This is due to it maintaining, a reputation of providing a safe, stable and credible
flag for the operation of aircrafts.
The registry is overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI). CAACI’s regulatory requirements are based on the UK’s Overseas Territories Aviation Requirements (OTARs), which are in full compliance with the standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). CAACI also works in close partnership with specialised legal and financial firms and entities within the Cayman Islands government to ensure that aircraft registrants have the most comprehensive counsel on every aspect of applicable law, finance, tax and insurance. CAACI is also cognisant of the importance of “know-your-client” (KYC) for ensuring internationally accepted standards are observed for financing aircraft acquisition and operation. In this regard, CAACI employs due diligence on all aircraft registrants. The Cayman Islands recognises the security and priority of the Cape Town Convention and alternatively, provides security for the financing of aircraft through the Cayman Islands Mortgaging of Aircraft Regulations.
The European spoke with Richard Smith, Director General of CAACI, to learn about the registration process, and also to discover more about the business opportunities available in the Cayman Islands.
Please describe the registration process and how CAACI works with clients to achieve their goals.
Richard Smith: CAACI is keen to support the applicant’s objectives in managing expectations from the outset. We look to achieve a broad understanding of the nature of the applicants’ objectives, which will include details of the aircraft’s technical specifications and proposed scope of operation.
Once all required due diligence and technical documentation has been received, CAACI will then work with clients to meet their deadlines and/or timeframes for placing an aircraft on the CI Aircraft Registry, which is normally an average of three weeks. This includes the aircraft survey, if required, wherever the aircraft is located, for the issuance of the Certificate of Airworthiness.
You have several online initiatives, what benefits do these offer clients?
RS: CAACI through its website, VP-C Online application portal, online payment facility and online occurrence reporting scheme offers clients the ability to interact formally with CAACI where transaction responses are readily provided. However, these tools are supplemental to our code of service provision
where we embrace direct person-to-person communication via email or telephone.
The VP-C Online system has been described as groundbreaking. How does is work?
RS: VP-C Online is an interactive document processing portal. This online data management system provides a secure way to manage the registration, licensing, approval and certification processes for each aircraft “24/7-365”. This system works equally well for our clients as it does for CAACI. Applications are not lost in a typical administrative system; it affords CAACI with great efficiencies and clarity of progress for each application made. Once documents are approved, the applicant can download print and position as required on aircraft; this greatly improves effective timescales in achieving operational aircraft.
What role does the Cayman Enterprise City play?
RS: The Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) is home to a vibrant community of over 250 global businesses. The award-winning special economic zones include, Cayman Tech City, Cayman Commodities & Derivatives City, and Cayman Maritime & Aviation City. The CEC offers offshore businesses, including those operating within the global aviation industry, the ability to efficiently and cost-effectively set-up a genuine physical presence. CEC can have aviation companies fully established within four to six weeks, including turn-key office solutions, trade certificates, and renewable five-year work and residency visas for staff which can be processed in as little as five days.
CEC’s comprehensive support programme and dynamic business environment helps aviation businesses connect with leading industry providers, community networks, and a range of local contacts – from doctors to educators – so businesses and their staff can focus on developing their services and/or products without having to go through the administrative set-up and relocation process alone.
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