The rapid growth of the Isle of Man Aircraft Register (the "Register") since its launch on 1 May 2007 is evidence that an appetite existed for a quickly reactive, well regulated private register in a European friendly time.
Three Cessna Citation Jets were registered within two days of the launch. Today, the Register has some 176 aircraft, including an Airbus 340 and an Embraer Phantom 100 private jet made by the noted Brazilian manufacturer – the first plane of its type to be registered in Europe.
Success, of course, is not gauged by quantity. The Register has achieved some impressive milestones not least of which is being the first of the Crown Dependency registers in July 2008 to successfully achieve a separation of regulation (now the remit of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and operation (the remit of the Department of Transport (DOT)), pursuant to the Transfer of Functions (Civil Aviation) Order. This separation was followed on 1 December 2008 by the formal establishment of the Civil Aviation Administration by the Minister for Trade and Industry under the Government Departments Act 1987, which now vests in the DTI the exercise of the regulatory functions of DOT in respect of the operation and management of the Island's airport.
The Register has been the subject of external inspection this year. As many thought likely due to its recent establishment, the Register was chosen as one of a handful of United Kingdom Contracting State locations (which includes Crown Dependencies for these purposes) to come under the scrutiny of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as part of their February 2009 audit. While ICAO has yet to publish its final report, early indications suggest that its findings in respect of the Register will be highly favourable.
At the beginning of May 2009 the Registry announced its collaboration with IBA Group Limited for the provision of temporary registration services for inactive commercial aircraft, which will be "parked" for the duration of their registration on the Register as private aircraft. Due to the current economic climate there has been a need for a safe, neutral register for aircraft the subject of repossession by lenders or simply between leases. The Register satisfies this requirement by providing the reassurance of a familiar statutory environment in a common law jurisdiction with stringent regulation while also being fiercely competitive on costs.
The Registry is keen to engage with the international aviation community and was represented at the Isle of Man Yacht Forum registration and management conference on 2 September 2009 at Canary Wharf, London where a line-up of internationally respected speakers and leading industry experts discussed the factors affecting the modern day yacht and aircraft industries.
The Aircraft Registry was also a co-sponsor of the third Future of Business Jets Conference in London on 4-5 November 2009, which focused on current issues in the industry's regulatory, legal, financial, insurance and technical arenas.
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