Aviation |  Jan 04, 2011

New aircraft register to be launched in January

24th September 2009 – Next January is to see the setting up of a new Aircraft Register as well as the setting up of the Malta Transportation (Regulatory) Authority.

The Department of Civil Aviation, the Malta Transport Authority and the Malta Maritime Authority will complete their financial year and then merge into a single body on January 1st.

Malta’s bid to have a successful aircraft register aimed primarily at private jets came about following the success of Valletta’s maritime register – now considered the world’s seventh largest and the European Union’s second – and by executives of Malta-domiciled financial services companies seeking to benefit from tax advantages by registering jets here.

Malta’s main competitor jurisdiction for private jet registration within the EU is Ireland; globally it is up against the Channel Islands, Bermuda and the US. There are 81 aircraft currently registered in Malta.

The new draft law limits nationality and form requirements as much as possible in order to make the register accessible to as many owners and operators as possible. The register’s administration involves relatively attractive costs and the benefits are similar to those attributed to commercial shipping registration.

While extending the scope of granting security over aircraft, the register would also transpose the provisions of the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the Aircraft Protocol by adopting the national implementing legislation prepared by the Aviation Working Group for acceding states.

The new law also caters for market realities, such as fractional ownership and the ownership of aircraft by trustees or the possibility to register an aircraft while it is still under construction when it is uniquely identifiable.

As the register’s manager, the Malta Transportation (Regulatory) Authority will be primarily responsible to ensure that any Malta-registered management company or aircraft observes EU regulations.

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