Comprehensive and unique Aircraft Registry and Transition solutions in the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands, located 90 miles south of Cuba and 190 miles northwest of Jamaica, attribute its success to its main industries of financial services and tourism. The Government’s primary source of income is derived from fees charged for corporate services, the licensing and regulation of various entities domiciled in the Cayman Islands as well as import duties levied on goods.

The Cayman Islands is an English speaking Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom and is therefore obligated to the Chicago Convention to which the United Kingdom is a signatory.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) is the regulatory body with responsibility for safety regulatory oversight of the Cayman Islands’ aviation Industry. The CAACI regulates industry in accordance with UK statutory instruments established for its Overseas Territories, namely the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order 2013, (AN(OT)O) and the Overseas Territories Aviation Requirements (OTAR).

These legislative provisions and requirements govern the operational and airworthiness requirements of Cayman Islands registered aircraft.

The Cayman Islands Aircraft Register (CIAR) is globally recognized as a reputable registry of choice for many aircraft owners, financiers, management companies, attorneys and other discerning decision-makers in the competitive aviation industry.

Stringent standards and a mandate for absolute safety compliance have guided the oversight of the Cayman registered aircraft since the inception of the Registry over 50 years ago.

The Cayman Islands provides a politically stable flag of registration as well as a tax neutral jurisdiction with a well-regulated financial and legal industry. As a signatory of the Cape Town Convention via the UK’s ratification, the CAACI provides a straightforward registration procedure with certainty of security for lessors.

Adding to the benefits, the Cayman Islands is a FAA Category 1 rated jurisdiction and has been granted TSA airspace waiver to all aircraft operating on the CIAR.

While the CAACI team is headquartered in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, the team is supplemented by qualified surveyors and inspectors located strategically around the world to accommodate easy access to aircraft and aircraft maintenance organistions for required inspections.

Aircraft registration staff are familiar with Cayman Islands industry experts in the legal, financial and company registration sectors and work to ensure secure and timely transactions in the initial registration phase.

The technical team in the Air Safety Regulation (ASR) Division are highly qualified and experienced in safety regulatory oversight, and are also proficient in working with aircraft management and maintenance organisations to ensure that each aircraft meets the necessary requirements to comply with safety standards.

As a register of mainly corporate and privately-operated aircraft, the CIAR attracts fleets of medium to large aircraft types comprised of manufacturers such as Airbus and Boeing business Jets, Cessna Citation, Gulfstream, Bombardier and Embraer on the register.

The CIAR also has a growing fleet of aircraft operated for commercial air transport through Article 83 bis agreement or operators established in the Cayman Islands Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

For commercial operations, the CAACI has partnered with Cayman Enterprise City to facilitate the establishment of businesses within the SEZ’s Maritime & Aviation City, which enables maritime and aviation interests to efficiently and cost-effectively set up a genuine physical presence in the Cayman Islands.

The Cayman Islands Aircraft Register (CIAR) is globally recognized as a reputable registry of choice for many aircraft owners, financiers, management companies, attorneys and other discerning decision-makers in the competitive aviation industry

In particular, the aviation aspect is designed to assist aviation services businesses, such as those involved in commercial air transport operations [air operator certificate (AOC) holders]; aerospace-related activities; manufacturing, logistics planning and aircraft management; management consulting and other specialized services to the aviation and aerospace development sector to set up businesses in the Cayman Islands and operate commercially offshore.

Aircraft owners and financiers can be assured of attention to detail provided by a hands-on approach which is key to the CAACI’s unique full-service aircraft register. In-person, interactive methods for surveyors provide the personal touch that puts clients at ease and allows the CIAR to address safety issues that in many cases would not come to light.

Taking a more personalized management approach with all the stakeholders in an aircraft, results in proactive relationships and reporting before they become major issues. While the CIAR is a full-service aircraft register, it should be noted that it is not a register for parking aircraft indefinitely or at the end of a useful life.

Recognising the gap in the industry for aircraft requiring safety oversight between leases, sales or having been repossessed by a mortgagee, the CAACI provides an innovative solution for lessors/financiers requiring a register to facilitate temporary registration of aircraft, which are transitioning to other leases or jurisdictions.

The transition registry preserves the value of the aircraft by working proactively with the lessor and financier to ensure that the aircraft is maintained to the highest standard and its approval certificates kept current.

The CAACI transition team are highly experienced with handling many transitioning aircraft over the past several years and is poised to assist with a smooth deregistration and export of the aircraft when the time comes.

The strong relationships built on trust over the years with lessors, owners, financiers, management companies and airline attorneys have been led by the dedicated and experienced personnel who value safety first.

When an aircraft is financed and there is a mortgage attached, the mortgage can be registered on the Cayman Islands Register of Aircraft Mortgages under The Mortgaging of Aircraft Regulations, 2015. Additionally, the Cape Town Convention was ratified by the UK in July 2015, and enacted in the Cayman Islands on 1 November 2015.

The Cayman Islands government passed enabling legislation entitling the Cayman Islands to international recognition as a territorial unit of a contracting state to the Cape Town Convention. Financiers can opt for the protections available under the dual mortgage registration regime and make filings relating to mortgages under the Cape Town Convention as well as register the mortgages in the mortgage register maintained by the CAACI.

In circumstances where the Convention does not apply, a party taking a mortgage over an aircraft registered or to be registered on the Aircraft Register is able to register that mortgage with the CAACI on its mortgage register.

The AN(OT)O provides that the registered mortgagee must provide its consent to removal of the relevant aircraft from the Aircraft Register before such removal can take place.

It further provides that the registered mortgage will continue to exist despite removal of the aircraft from the Aircraft Register. Some financiers find this as an additional assurance as the mortgage transitions to a new register with the aircraft.

In addition to quality service and attention to owners, operator, lessors and lenders, the CAACI works closely with CIAR stakeholders to identify and address their needs supported by a bespoke interactive software, VP-C Online. The electronic data management system provides a secure way to manage aircraft documents online ‘24-7-365’.

Applications for registration and all aircraft flight operation and continuing airworthiness approvals are submitted online. Applicants can check the status of the approval when they are given access to the system.

The system is continuously updated and enhanced to provide a streamlined and user-friendly interface for clients as well as staff, increasing efficiency. VP-C Online makes it easier for clients to apply for initial aircraft registration as well as continuing airworthiness and other required approvals.

The platform allows you to review documents, submit urgent requests, check status of the approval process, stay informed and receive reminders for renewals, as well as print copies of your certificates. The data management portal also functions in the following areas: availability and reservation of registration marks, submission of the initial registration application and renewals, submission of the finance and legal due diligence/owner compliance documentations as well as pilot license validations.

The development of the latest phase of VP-C Online will introduce increased efficiency and scope specific to the management of Maintenance Organisations. This next phase expected to be released in the Fall of 2023, will encompass the submission of applications and supporting documentation from Approved Maintenance Organisations (AMOs) and Continued Airworthiness Management Organisations (CAMOs).

In summary, there are many benefits to registering an aircraft on the Cayman Islands Aircraft Register as detailed previously but the hallmarks that sets the CIAR apart are the efficiencies, professionalism, personalised approach and the cohesiveness of the team involved in the registration and safety oversight of your aircraft.

For any type of registration enquiries or quotes on aircraft registration, aircraft mortgage registration, aircraft certifications and transition project costs please