Isle of Man: The Sky Is The Limit For The Isle Of Man Aircraft Register

Last Updated: 10 January 2008
Article by Steven Quayle, Mike Edwards and Mike Pinson

The Isle of Man Aircraft Registry's target aircraft are professionally flown private and corporate owned business jets (as opposed to commercial airliners), but it is also very popular with those wanting to register large helicopters and VLJs - the new wave of very light jet aircraft being produced by the likes of Cessna, Eclipse and Embraer.

The cost savings associated with VLJs are widely expected to transform private and business air travel. The shift toward VLJs has been a key factor in the vast increase in worldwide business aircraft sales.

The Isle of Man Aircraft Register is effectively an independently operated British Register and, for the purposes of the Chicago Convention, the United Kingdom is the supervising state. The legal and regulatory framework relating to the Register largely replicates United Kingdom legislation, albeit with favourable modifications. Accordingly, the Register is regarded as having a legally robust and internationally recognised footing, whilst being sufficiently flexible and accommodating to avoid the unnecessary frustrations and bureaucracy that can be experienced when attempting to register aircraft in other jurisdictions.

The following are some of the key benefits offered by the Isle of Man in terms of aircraft registration.

Service and Standards

The Aircraft Registry is, like the Isle of Man Ship Registry, a division of the Isle of Man Government Department of Trade and Industry and has adopted the same approach that has permitted the Ship Registry to become internationally renowned.

The Aircraft Registry is dedicated to providing a highly professional, but also user-friendly and competitively priced, service. The Aircraft Registry is not intended to be profit making and, accordingly, its scheme of charges are set at the lowest possible level necessary to cover the costs of operating the Registry.

The Isle of Man Aircraft Register is not a register of convenience and only aircraft of a high international standard are accepted. Additionally, aircraft under 5,700kg will usually only be accepted for registration if the owner is Isle of Man resident or operates a business from the Island.

Neutral Registration Prefix

All aircraft registered in the Isle of Man bear the prefix M, followed by four characters (e.g. M-ABCD). This identification mirrors the format of major European registers, but may be preferable to other prefixes in some circumstances on the basis of political neutrality.


Aircraft, crew licences and maintenance organisations that comply with reputable international standards are generally accepted by the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry without the imposition of further requirements, such as modifying the aircraft or retraining crew. Additionally, the location of an aircraft is irrelevant to its eligibility for registration on the Isle of Man Aircraft Register and Manx registered aircraft can fly worldwide without restriction.

Local Expertise

The Isle of Man is already a leading centre for aviation finance and leasing. Isle of Man corporate and trust structures are frequently used in aircraft ownership and financing transactions and major international airlines and aircraft operators hold the Island in high regard as a jurisdiction in which to do business. The Aircraft Register plays an important role in the Island's development as a centre for the provision of services to the industry, building on the existing body of expertise already in the Island.

One-Stop Shop

The Isle of Man Ship Register is one of the most popular in the world for the registration of mega-yachts. Additionally, many other mega-yachts not registered in the Island are owned by Isle of Man companies. Mega-yacht owners often operate their own private jets and there is a strong commercial logic for such owners to use the Island as a "one-stop shop". For example, most firms on the Island that provide yacht management services and ownership structures provide the same services and structures in respect of aircraft. Accordingly, a working relationship developed in the course of providing services in relation to a client's yacht can be extended to cover the same client's aircraft, avoiding the need to identify and engage new service providers and repeated "know your client" due diligence.


The Isle of Man offers a tax neutral base to facilitate efficient international tax planning.

  • The standard rate of income tax for companies in the Isle of Man is zero percent. This standard rate applies to all forms of income with only two exceptions (namely income deriving from banking or Isle of Man property businesses).
  • There is no capital gains tax, stamp duty or analogous tax.
  • Unlike other crown dependencies, the Island has an indirect tax regime similar to that of the United Kingdom. The Island is treated as part of the European Union for VAT and customs duty purposes and Isle of Man companies can be part of United Kingdom VAT groups.
Dynamic Companies Legislation

It is possible to incorporate a modern form of Isle of Man company ideally suited for use in aircraft ownership structures. The company, often referred to as the "New Manx Vehicle" or "NMV", is effectively a hybrid of the best characteristics of the international business companies regime of the British Virgin Islands and traditional concepts of Isle of Man company law, creating a vehicle which is legally robust, yet flexible, cost-effective and easy to administer. The NMV regime runs in parallel with the regime for traditional Isle of Man companies and such companies can easily be converted into NMVs.

First Class Business Environment

The reasons why the Isle of Man is regarded as one of the world's most respected international financial centres include:

  • The Island's first-class reputation as a well regulated international finance centre (reinforced by Moody's and Standard & Poor's "AAA" accreditation).
  • The Island's traditional company law regime is derived from English company law and, as such, UK professionals and banks are comfortable dealing with Isle of Man companies. In the absence of Isle of Man statute, case-law or custom to the contrary, English case-law is of persuasive effect before the Isle of Man courts.
  • In addition to the Island's traditional company law and NMV regimes, it is possible to create limited liability companies (LLCs), protected cell companies and general and limited partnerships.
  • The Island is a stable political and legal environment in which to do business. Although internally self-governing and constitutionally separate from the United Kingdom, the Island is a Crown Dependency and the United Kingdom is responsible for most of the Island's foreign affairs and defence. Treaties and conventions ratified by the United Kingdom are often extended (with the consent of the Isle of Man Government) to apply to the Island.
  • The Island benefits from being within the British time zone.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.