The Channel Islands Aircraft Registry, 2-REG, has issued its first Air Operator Certificate (AOC).
AOCs are approvals that allow aircraft operators to carry passengers for commercial purposes. Gus Paterson, Guernsey's Director of Civil Aviation, told the Guernsey Press that there was already a good level of interest for the service and the Guernsey-based registry would hold certain advantages over other licensing options. Competitor registries in the Isle of Man and Jersey do not offer the service.
As well as commercial aircraft, AOCs are often requested by private jets which are used irregularly by their owners, to enable more use to be made of the aircraft and to generate a source of revenue.
The first AOC went to Guernsey-based private family office business Volare Aviation, which owns the flagship Guernsey-registered aircraft 2-SEXY, one of four Bombardier Challenger aircraft it has based at Oxford Kidlington Airport. Under the AOC the company can assist with the importation, tax structuring and operation of a jet.
Former helicopter pilot Mike Tidd, who works for Volare, said that acquiring the certificate was tax efficient and the service offered by 2-REG was flexible and attractive.
"From my perspective, aviation business in Guernsey is growing," said Mr Tidd.
"The corporate aviation world as a whole hasn't grown a lot but Guernsey's share of it has grown and there are other spin-offs too."
Mr Paterson said the 'business-to-business' approach offered by 2-REG, in contrast to other, government-run registries, was proving popular. He said the AOC move was both 'an investment in the future' and a 'logical next step' for the registry.
2-REG was launched in December 2013 and is run by Dutch company SGI Aviation, which pays royalties to the Guernsey Government on operating income. SGI Aviation said the flexible service it offered through the registry was an attraction to aircraft operators.
The registry accommodates all aircraft types from larger airliners through to general aviation, based anywhere in world and is supported by SGI's permanent offices in Amsterdam and Singapore.
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
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