Aircraft Registration & Transactions

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  • Light Business Airplane Buyer’s Guide

    Light Business Airplane Buyer’s Guide

    Provides a synopsis of the offerings currently available in the Light Business Airplane (LBA) category to assist companies in their purchase planning. Learn More.

  • Like Kind Exchange

    Like-Kind Exchange

    Under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code, gains from the exchange of like-kind properties may be exempt from taxation. Learn More.

  • Cape Town Convention

    Cape Town Convention

    The Cape Town International Registry was launched to protect financial interests in aircraft and engine transactions. If certain criteria are met, domestic and international aircraft and engine transactions are subject to the registry. Learn More.

  • U.S. Registered Foreign Civil Aircraft (Part 375)

    U.S. Registered Foreign Civil Aircraft (Part 375)

    Part 375 of the Department of Transportation regulations restricts the operation of foreign civil aircraft including both foreign registered aircraft and U.S. registered aircraft owned, controlled, or operated by non-U.S. citizens. Learn More

  • Aircraft Transactions Checklist

    Aircraft Transactions Checklist

    Serves as a means to organize an aircraft transaction process and provides a launching pad to numerous NBAA member resources related to the acquisition or sale of a business aircraft. Learn More

News Items

FAA, DOT at Odds Over Revised Guidance for Aircraft Held in Non-Citizen Trusts
Feb. 10, 2014
A recent memo issued by the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Transportation (DOT) outlined several misgivings about guidance issued by the FAA last year regarding oversight of aircraft held by non-citizen trusts (NCTs). Registering an aircraft through an NCT allows owners to register on the United States aircraft registry under an N-number, even if they are not a U.S. citizen or legal resident, through use of a U.S. citizen trustee. At the recently concluded 2014 NBAA Business Aircraft Finance, Registration & Legal Conference, FAA deputy chief counsel Marc Warren told attendees the agency has "a fundamental difference" in opinion with the DOT on the matter of NCTs. Read more about this issue.
Global Nature of Business Aviation Marketplace Brings New Transaction Challenges
Feb. 6, 2014
Obtaining an FAA airworthiness certificate, ensuring a clean title and paying any applicable customs duties are just a few difficulties unique to importing an aircraft. James Meyer, a partner at Harper Meyer Perez Hagen O'Connor Albert & Dribin, LLP, and a member of the NBAA Tax Committee, specializes in aircraft transactions and strongly urges buyers to carefully plan the aircraft importation process and assemble a team of experts. Among his suggestions are: hire a designated airworthiness representative, a customs broker and even legal counsel in the sale aircraft's current state of registration. Learn more about importing an aircraft
NBAA's 2014 Business Aircraft Finance, Registration & Legal Conference to Feature Industry Experts
Jan. 22, 2014
More than 115 business aircraft professionals involved in aircraft transactional matters are already registered for NBAA's 2014 Business Aircraft Finance, Registration & Legal Conference, which is set for Feb. 5 to 7 at the Loews Don CeSar Hotel St. Pete Beach, FL. The conference features two full days of educational content, with topics including an update on the Cape Town Convention, challenges in importing and exporting aircraft, structuring aircraft transactions and more. "The Business Aircraft Finance, Registration & Legal Conference provides a unique opportunity for attorneys, financiers, flight department managers and other business aviation executives to stay up to date on timely business topics," said Mike Nichols, NBAA's vice president, operational excellence and professional development. Read more about the conference.
Aircraft Appraisal Session Coming to Boca Raton Forum Jan. 30
Dec. 27, 2013
Companies and business aviation professionals considering the sale of an aircraft may benefit from a seminar offered at NBAA's first 2014 Business Aviation Regional Forum next month in Boca Raton, FL. "Business Aircraft Appraisals and Evaluations - Facing the Changes" will address today's often-challenging market conditions, including pre-owned aircraft prices. While today's uncertain economic climate attracts most of the attention in this discussion, it is far from the only factor influencing aircraft values. Learn more about the aircraft appraisal session at the Boca Raton forum.
What’s The Cape Town Registry? NBAA Offers a Refresher
August 30, 2013
A question often fielded by NBAA staff and on Air Mail is: "What is the Cape Town International Registry?" The registry was designed by an international treaty to protect financial interests in aircraft and engines, explained Scott O’Brien, NBAA’s senior manager of finance & tax policy. In 2001, to make consistent sense of different nations’ and territories’ laws and regulations, representatives from many countries and international organizations met in Cape Town, South Africa, at the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment. As of May 2013, 56 states and the European Union have ratified its Aviation Protocol, which took effect in March 2006. In ratifying it, the contracting states, which include the U.S., amended their commercial code and aviation regulations to conform to standards set by the treaty for aircraft transactions. Learn more about the Cape Town International Registry.
At NBAA2013: International Aviation Transactions – Know What You’re Getting Into
July 12, 2013
NBAA Members have found that buying, selling or leasing aircraft overseas, without knowing the local legal and regulatory landscape can lead to unforeseen, and sometimes very costly, consequences. One of the education sessions scheduled for NBAA2013 focuses specifically on aircraft transactions in foreign countries: “Engaging in Aircraft Transactions Abroad – Key Issues Confronted in Buying, Selling, Leasing or Financing Aircraft Outside of the U.S.” “There’s a vast array of issues that can trip you up in transacting aircraft sales and leases overseas.” said Sean Fitzgibbons, associate general counsel for global investigations and business aviation at Walmart, who will be co-presenting the session along with James Meyer of the Miami law firm Harper Meyer. [Read more about the NBAA2013 educational session]. Learn More.
Coalition Submits Comments on FAA Non Citizen Trusts
August 20, 2012
An industry coalition, in which NBAA is involved, submitted substantive comments to the FAA regarding Non-U.S. Citizen Trust aircraft registration. In an effort to address key issues and further elaborate on the industry’s position, the industry prepared a supplemental submission which focuses on concerns for non-operators, facilitating the information flow and access to records and aircraft, the submission and non-disclosure of operating agreements, the removal of the trustee for specific cause, as well as a revised trust agreement. Learn More.
Consider Insurance If Moving Aircraft Off FAA Registry
March 26, 2012
Some companies need to move an aircraft to a foreign subsidiary or grow weary of dealing with the US regulatory and tax issues and may want to examine the option of moving their aircraft "off-shore". While this may sound appealing, the issues are complicated and varied. This subject was addressed in a presentation (734 KB, PDF) at the 2011 NBAA Tax, Regulatory & Risk Management Conference, and a new article addressing insurance considerations now is available. Authored by NBAA’s Aviation Insurance Committee Member, Christa Hinckley, the article discusses policy and risk management considerations aircraft owners must be aware of before moving an aircraft to a new Registry. Review the article (33 KB, PDF).
Aircraft Purchase Market Can Be Challenging, But Not Impossible
May 9, 2011
While the business aircraft market is seen to be slowly recovering, the difficulty of securing financing makes purchasing an aircraft today much more challenging than it was before September 2008. “The time required to close the financing is often much longer,” said Jeff Wieand of Boston Jet Search. Bankers recommend that buyers be prepared to make the case for how the aircraft will help them achieve their business goals. Read more.
Exploring Treatment of Monetary Deposits in Aircraft Transactions
August 23, 2010
It is common for buyers of business aircraft to place "fully refundable" deposits in escrow when entering into a letter of intent or purchase agreement. A new article, provided by NBAA Tax Committee Member Keith Swirsky, addresses issues concerning monetary deposits, such as "back-to-back" transactions and whether a seller can obtain forfeiture of a deposit in such transactions; the typical approach of Oklahoma City title and escrow companies in the event of a dispute concerning the deposit; and best practices. View the article.
New, Onerous FAA Aircraft Registration Regulations Published
July 19, 2010
The FAA had estimated that approximately one third of aircraft registrations are no longer valid. To rectify this, the FAA published new regulations regarding aircraft registration. Over a three year period, FAA will terminate the N number registrations of all aircraft registered before October 1, 2010, and will require the re-registration of each aircraft. Aircraft registrations will be valid for three years and registration certificates will include the expiration date. The FAA will cancel the N-numbers of aircraft that are not re-registered or renewed. Learn More.
NBAA Urges Owners to Exercise Caution with FAA Registry Priority Requests
August 4, 2006
Aircraft owners filing an initial N number registration or change to the aircraft registration, when requesting priority registrations from the FAA, must declare an international flight and provide proof of the upcoming flightt. Under new FAA policy, effective August 1, 2006, all Declarations of international flights will be compared with actual flights. Review the FAA guidance.


Consider Insurance If Moving Aircraft Off FAA Registry, by Christa Meyer Hinckley, Husch Blackwell LLP

Back-to-Back Aircraft Transactions 101, by Alan Burnett, CenterPoint Aviation Law

Acquiring an Aircraft - Timing Considerations, by Keith Swirsky, GKG Law, P.C.

New Considerations for Aircraft Deposit and Escrow Accounts in Times of Economic Crisis, by Edward H. Kammerer, Hinckley Allen & Snyder LLP

Unusual Issues in Used Aircraft Import Transaction, by Keith Swirsky, GKG Law, P.C.

Patriot Act and Foreign Trade Regulation Issues For Sale of a U.S. Registered Aircraft to a Foreign Purchaser, by Clifford Maine, Barnes & Thornburg

Pre-Purchase Inspection Liability: Another Trap for the Unwary, by John R. Copley and Victor H. Smith, Garofalo Goerlich Hainbach

A General Overview of FAA Considerations in Corporate Aircraft Transactions, by Frank L. Polk, McAfee & Taft