In an effort to maintain exceptional service to its clients, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) has developed an electronic data management system called VP-C Online, which provides a secure way to manage documentation online. This includes registry applications, certificates and authorisations electronically. The new electronic system makes it easier for CAACI clients to apply for the various approvals that are required for both initial aircraft registration and for continuing airworthiness.
The European caught up with Richard Smith, Director General of CAACI to find out more.
Please describe how VP-C Online benefits aircraft registry applicants.
Richard Smith: VP-C Online is as an electronic data management system that provides a secure way, around the clock, to manage the registration, licensing, approval and certification processes for each aircraft on the Cayman Islands Aircraft Registry (The Registry). Once accepted to the Registry, the operators of the aircraft are able to file applications and approval requests for the flight operations and airworthiness certifications for the aircraft which they manage.
VP-C Online gives the client convenient access to their information from anywhere in the world using a secure internet connection and personalised credentials. Owners and operators have complete access to the registration documentation online, including certificates and survey information and can check the status of their applications on a real-time basis. The person assigned as the technical coordinator will receive email notifications to advise them on new documents issued and reminder alerts of upcoming certificate renewal dates to begin the renewal process.
CAACI is currently working on refining and enhancing VP-C Online with the aim to release further phases of additional functionality and enhanced convenience to further improve the client experience by managing all operational aspects of their aircraft.
How can the applicant monitor the registration process, and approximately how long does it take?
RS: The first step in registering an aircraft in the Cayman Islands is submission of the registration application and supporting due diligence documents pertaining to the owner of the aircraft through the VP-C Online portal. Once this information has been submitted, and due diligence is approved – usually within 2-3 days of submitting all required documents – the registration application is then turned over to our Air Safety Regulation (ASR) Division for the second phase of the registration process. This final phase involves scheduling the aircraft for inspection by one of our globally based surveyors and the completion and submission of the aircraft’s technical documents for certification and approval. The turn-around time between the submission of the application and the issue of the certificate of registration is normally between three and six weeks and largely depends on how quickly all of the required information for the due diligence of the owner and the aircraft applications are submitted. Our clients have indicated that VP-C Online is a convenient, secure and user-friendly way to manage the aircraft documents and is many times a deciding factor in the aircraft registry they choose.
In terms of convenience for aircraft owners, what is the benefit of using the Cayman Islands Aircraft Registry and its digital solutions?
RS: There are many benefits including the VP-C Online data management portal. These include:
Political and tax neutral jurisdiction – The Cayman Islands provides a credible, politically stable jurisdiction of choice for aircraft registrations. As a leading tax neutral international financial centre based on the English legal system, (Privy Council in England being the jurisdictions final court of appeal) provides owners and financiers of aircraft with certainty and confidence.
Commercial operations now an option – The register is now able to offer commercial registrations under an Air Operator’s Certificate through the islands’ special economic zone – Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) which has introduced an alternative means for compliance through the Principal Place of Business criteria.
Transitioning register option – Lessors can register an aircraft coming off a lease and avail themselves of the expertise of the CAACI technical staff to ready the aircraft for the next lease. The aircraft operations are managed by the technical staff from registration to deregistration to ensure that the transition process to the new lessee is as expeditious as possible with the highest level of detail to the safety certifications.
How does the online process benefit an applicant’s lawyers and any technical advisors?
RS: To begin with, the benefits of the online process involve the submission of the registration application including the secure upload of the beneficial owner’s due diligence documents. The applicant’s lawyers are normally the ones involved in this initial application phase to ensure that the details of the owner of the aircraft are kept as confidential as possible. This part of the registration application and the documents uploaded here are not visible to the persons accessing the second phase of the application.
Another benefit is the power to review your documents. As the owner/operator of an aircraft that is registered with CAACI you will have access to the registration documentation online, including certificates and survey information. You can access it at your convenience from anywhere in the world using a secure internet connection with your assigned credentials. You can also check its status. Once the application(s) has been submitted by your technical coordinator, you have complete access to view the status all the way through the approval process.
This means you can stay informed. You can receive customised notifications by logging into your account profile and updating your personal information in the “Manage Vault”. You will be able to receive email notifications to advise you when new documents are issued and alert you on upcoming anniversary dates of certificate renewals.
If you need another copy of any of your filed application(s) or certificate(s), you can easily print an unofficial copy yourself. Temporary certificates can be printed while you wait to receive the original copy in the mail.