The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is the government regulatory body responsible for aviation and the registration of aircraft in Nigeria as established by the Civil Aviation Act 2006. The guidelines for the registration of an aircraft are contained in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations which sets out the requirements for registration.

Procedure and Requirements for Registration

Procedure and requirements for registration of aircraft in Nigeria as contained in Part of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation provide as follows;

  • An applicant interested in registering an aircraft is required to apply to the relevant authority by submitting a duly completed application form-AC-AWS 001A or in a form and manner acceptable to the Authority.
  • Each application is required to comply with the eligibility requirements; it must also include evidence of ownership e.g. Bill of Sale, and be signed in ink.
  • An applicant for aircraft registration is required to be eligible for the registration, and the eligibility requirements as backed by Section 33 of the Civil Aviation Act are as follows;
  • The aircraft must be owned by a citizen of Nigeria.
  • It is owned by an individual citizen of another State who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence in Nigeria or,
  • It is owned by a corporation lawfully organised and carrying on business under the laws of Nigeria and the aircraft is based and used primarily in Nigeria.
  • It is owned by a government entity of Nigeria or a political subdivision thereof.
  • It is owned by a foreign person who has leased the aircraft to one of the persons described above, provided that the aircraft remains on the Nigerian registry for as long as the lease subsist or the certificate of registration includes the names and address of the lessee and if different, the operator of the aircraft.
  • The aircraft is not registered under the lease of another State and the aircraft is not more than 22 years old unless the aircraft is used exclusively for general aviation purposes.
  • After the aircraft has been evaluated by the Authority and found acceptable for the issuance of a Certificate of Registration, it is required to comply with the following technical and legal requirements and submit the following documents;
  • Aircrafts technical specification which includes the followings;
  • The full description of the type, model, and serial number.
  • Type certificate datasheet.
  • Supplementary type certificate data if any.
  • Make and part numbers of avionics and equipment installed.
  • Airworthiness Directives (Ads) status report.
  • Copy of the current Certificate of Registration where applicable.
  • Copy of the current C of A where applicable.
  • A Certificate or notice of de-registration from the previous state of registry or a letter from the state of manufacture if the aircraft is new and has never been registered in any other state. The de-registration Certificate must be received by the Authority directly from the state of the registry and should never have been presented by the applicant.
  • A certified copy of an aircraft's current insurance certificate.
  • A copy of Air Transport License (ATL), Air Operating Permit (AOP) or Permit for Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF) or Permit for Aerial Aviation Service (AAS).
  • Proof of payment of the prescribed fees.
  • A certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), if owned by a corporation.
  • A copy of a government-issued identity card (ID) or Passport if owned by an individual or any other means of identification approved by the Authority.
  • Honourable Minister of Aviation Permit to import and operate the aircraft.
  • The applicant is also required to comply with the additional requirements by submitting the following documents;
  • Documents to prove the aircraft ownership, for example, purchase agreement with stamp duties paid.
  • Names of the directors of the company owning or leasing the aircraft and their specimen signatures giving authority to register and or operate the aircraft in Nigeria and indicating who among them has the mandate to transact on their behalf on matters relating to the aircraft registration and operation.
  • A certified true copy of the lease agreement if the aircraft is on a lease, with stamp duties paid.
  • A certified true copy of the power of attorney from the owner/lessor and the lessee.
  • An indemnity in accordance with the Regulations.
  • Irrevocable Deregistration and Export Request Authorisation (IDERA) if applicable.
  • Upon the fulfilment of the above requirements, an evaluation will be carried out on the application to establish that the documents are authentic, genuine, valid, and relates to the subject aircraft. It will also be evaluated to ensure that the aircraft type Certificate complies with an acceptable airworthiness code (which means Civil Aviation Regulations and Standards of the contracting State of Design, relating to the design, materials, construction, equipment, performance, and maintenance of aircraft).
  • The aircraft that fails to meet the required standards and satisfy the acceptable Type Certificate requirements will be classified Non-Complaint and will not be accepted for registration in Nigeria.
  • On completion of a successful document evaluation, the airworthiness inspector will issue the aircraft acceptance for registration note.
  • The applicant will be allocated registration marks. The registration marks can be reserved after payment of the reservation fee; however, the reservation fee is only valid for six (6) months.
  • The applicant can also be allocated special registration marks of choice. These special marks are allocated on request in writing and they attract an extra fee in addition to the registration fee.
  • After the applicant meets all the statutory requirements for registration, a Certificate of Registration will be issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority as stated in Part
  • The acceptance for registration is only for aircraft of a type that is acceptable to the Authority.

The Certificate of Registration issued by the Aviation Authority is valid for five (5) years and is subject to renewal.

Effect of Registration

The effect of successfully registering and obtaining a Certificate of Registration for an aircraft is that such an aircraft can be operated in Nigeria as Part of the Regulations provides that "no one may operate a civil aircraft under the laws of Nigeria unless it has been registered by its owner or operator under the laws of Nigeria and the Authority has issued a Certificate of Registration for that aircraft, which must be carried on board the aircraft for all operations".


Aircraft as defined by the Regulations are machines that can derive support in the atmosphere from the reactions of the air other than the reactions of the air against the earth's surface. The only regulatory body that is charged with the responsibility of carrying out the registration process is the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). It is important to ensure that all the requirements and documentation are duly complied with to successfully register an aircraft and to avoid it being deregistered by the Authority.

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.