De-Registering Your Aircraft? Here’s What to Consider

There are a range of scenarios in which business aircraft owners may wish to de-register their jet from a particular registry. It is a commonplace occurrence, but can be complex – so what advice do the experts offer? Gerrard Cowan explores...

Gerrard Cowan  |  06th April 2023
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Gerrard Cowan
Gerrard Cowan

Gerrard Cowan is a freelance journalist who focuses on aerospace and finance. In addition to his regular...

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What you need to know before de-registering your jet

In general, aircraft buyers or owners should consider de-registering their aircraft from a particular registry when a change in circumstances makes it necessary, says Alexandria Colindres, CEO of The Registry of Aruba.

The specific circumstances will depend on the owner’s/buyer’s situation and the requirements of the new registry, but it is always “important to consult with a qualified aviation professional to ensure compliance with all the applicable regulations and requirements.”

Why De-Register an Aircraft?

Colindres highlights that a change in operational requirements could be one reason to de-register an aircraft. “If the owner decides to operate the aircraft in a different capacity, such as from private use to commercial (Part 135) use, it may be necessary to de-register the aircraft, and re-register it with a new registry that can accommodate the new operational requirements.”

Relocation of the aircraft is another common reason to de-register an aircraft, Colindres notes, prior to it being registered in the new location. Or a change in ownership structure could also be a factor, “such as when an individual owner decides to transfer ownership to a corporation. The aircraft may need to be de-registered and re-registered under the new ownership structure.

“A jurisdiction may have specific nationality requirements for the owner. For example, the FAA requires owners to be US nationals, while Aruba does not have nationality requirements,” she adds.

Additionally, a change in regulations could also make it more advantageous for an owner to register their aircraft elsewhere, while another driver could be political or economic instability.

“If there is political or economic instability in the country where the aircraft is registered, then the owner may consider de-registering the aircraft from the current registry and registering it with a more stable country's registry to protect their investment,” she explains.

“The resale value of an aircraft may be impacted by political and economic instability, whereas a stable political and legal environment ensures that strong security rights can be placed on your aircraft and its value is maintained.”

What to Consider Before De-Registering

There are a number of factors an owner should carefully consider before deciding to de-register an aircraft, says Colindres. These include legal and regulatory requirements. Indeed, an aircraft’s transition to a new jurisdiction can be made more challenging by differences in requirements.

“An owner must comply with the registration and de-registration requirements of both the exporting and importing state,” she highlights.

“These variations might encompass restrictions based on age, management of stateless aircraft, standardization of information exchange and the de-registration process, as well as the issuance of Export Certificates of Airworthiness.”

The aircraft owner/buyer should ensure that the new registry will match the needs for their specific asset, for example by accepting the aircraft’s type rating.

To continue reading the digital version of this article in the AvBuyer April issue, click on the button below.

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