The business jet market in Russia is growing; and the Guernsey Aircraft Registry (2-REG), is becoming an attractive option for their registration, writes Marianne Domaille, Associate Director at Concept Group Limited.

The Guernsey Aircraft Registry (2-REG) was established in 2013 and offers a pragmatic, regulatory service to support aircraft owners and operators. It also has a worldwide network of safety oversight inspectors for convenience, speed of service, flexibility and costs savings. With the business jet market in Russia continuing to grow and most jets operating in Russia being registered outside of the country, it is hoped that the 2-REG will become the registry of choice for Russian companies and businessmen.

Guernsey is well positioned to capitalise on this and has already seen a number of Russian aircraft register with the 2-REG since its launch three years ago. The 2-REG nationality mark consists of the number 2 followed by four letters. This facilitates personalised combinations such as 2-RICH, 2-COOL, 2-PLAY.

The Registry accepts aircraft certificated under regulatory systems from the major aviation jurisdictions (USA, EU, Canada) and can validate pilot licenses based on the host license.

The 2-REG also includes a charges register. Guernsey is renowned for being a well-regulated and robust international business centre which aircraft financers are comfortable with.

For lessor owned aircraft, the 2-REG has perfected an efficient registration and de-registration process to facilitate off-lease aircraft. This service keeps to a minimum the number of lost flying days which are often generated by registries failing to meet registration deadlines.

Commercial operators

Previously, the 2-REG was only available to aircraft not operating commercially. However, the Guernsey aviation legislation was amended in March 2016 and it is now possible for commercial air transport operators to apply for a Guernsey Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and register the aircraft on the 2-REG.

Guernsey is not an EU member state and chose not to adopt European standards. Instead it chose to base its regulations on a hybrid mix of the UK for Overseas Territories Regulations and those set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) which is the global overarching authority. This enables quick and easy transfer of aircraft, pilot license validations and validation of maintenance organisations under FAA or EASA.

When registries issue AOCs, it is on the condition that the Principal Place of Business of the AOC holder is in that jurisdiction. This would typically be achieved by incorporating a company and relocating qualified staff. For commercial air transport operators wishing to hold a Guernsey AOC they can take advantage of Guernsey's sophisticated corporate services industry. Guernsey's fiduciary sector is familiar with Russian culture and nuances and can to set up efficient and effective structures for Russian clients, thereby making use of all the benefits that Guernsey and 2-REG have to offer.

An original version of this article was first published by RBCC Bulletin, November 2016.

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