The Cayman Islands Registry: the offshore aircraft registry of choice since the 1970s

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The Cayman Islands Aircraft Registry (The Registry) is the registry of choice for many owners, financiers, management companies, attorneys and other key decision makers. Stringent standards and a mandate for absolute safety guide our oversight of Cayman registered aircraft. The Registry has been operating as a reputable offshore aircraft registry since the early 1970s and has an outstanding safety record.

High Financial and Safety Standards

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands’ (CAACI) dedicated technical team work with aircraft operators on annual plans to ensure regulatory standards and timelines are met and where appropriate, flexibility and customised solutions afforded. The CAACI works closely with Cayman Islands’ industry experts in the legal/ financial and company registration sectors to ensure sound and secure transactions for the initial aircraft registration or changes thereafter. The CAACI staff is highly qualified and experienced in regulatory oversight and in working with aircraft management and maintenance organisations to ensure compliance with internationally mandated standards.

The CAACI operates in accordance with a statutory instrument that is predicated on UK legislation. These legislative requirements are found in the “Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order 2013,” AN(OT)O (and subsequent amendments) which contains regulations governing the operational and airworthiness requirements of Cayman registered aircraft. Also relative is the guidance contained in the Overseas Territories Aviation Requirements (OTARS) as published for all UK Overseas territories, see www.airsafety.aero.

Registering an aircraft

Criteria for registering an aircraft include the following:

• Submission of application for registration by eligible individuals or company

• Persons wishing to register an aircraft must prove eligibility & meet due diligence requirements in accordance with the Cayman Islands’ financial services regulations (anti-money laundering and compliance requirements)

Compliance with stipulated CAACI Airworthiness Requirements

• Compliance with CAACI Flight Operational Requirements

• Appropriate licensing of Aircrew

• Maintenance Organisation Approval

• Radio License Application via the Information & Communications Technology Authority of the Cayman Islands (ICTA) http://www.icta.ky/aircraft-radio

• Physical Survey of Aircraft

• Payment of deposit for initial certification

During the initial application process, the applicant can choose from a list of available registration marks which start with VP-C plus two variable letters. Applicants are also able to reserve preferred marks if available at [email protected]. Applicants are cautioned not to initiate the de-registration process from the existing State of Registry until such time as the application has been formally accepted by the CAACI and the second phase of the registration process is almost complete. All information pertaining to registration of aircraft on the Cayman Islands Aircraft Registry can be obtained from the CAACI website at https://www.caacayman.com/aircraft-registry/.

The Cayman Islands provides a credible, politically stable jurisdiction of choice for aircraft registrations. As a leading tax neutral international financial centre in the English legal system (Privy Council in England being the jurisdictions final court of appeal), it provides owners and financiers of aircraft certainty and confidence.

Commercial operations are now an option.

The Cayman Islands provides a credible, politically stable jurisdiction of choice for aircraft registrations. As a leading tax neutral international financial centre in the English legal system (Privy Council in England being the jurisdictions final court of appeal), it provides owners and financiers of aircraft certainty and confidence. The Register has traditionally been deemed a  ‘private’ register however, the CAACI in conjunction with the CI Government and the Cayman Islands’ Special Economic Zone – Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) has introduced an alternative means for compliance with the ‘Principal Place of Business’ criteria to allow offshore Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to be granted for certain commercial operations. Visit https://www.caymanenterprisecity.com/aviation to find out more about the benefits and the process of granting an AOC.

Cape Town Convention

The CAACI also works in close partnership to ensure that aircraft registrants have expert guidance on applicable law and procedures. One such example of the CAACI working in partnership with local aviation specialists was evident in 2015 when the CAACI was a member of a local working group which included top aviation finance attorneys along with the CI Government’s Ministry of Financial Services. This working group was established to develop enabling legislation to have The Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the associated Protocol on matters specific to aircraft equipment (also known as the “Cape Town Convention”) come into force in the Cayman Islands. The Cape Town Convention is an international treaty that aims to standardise transactions involving movable property, such as aircraft.

In July 2015, the UK ratified the Cape Town Convention and extended it to some of its territories that had ready and waiting enabling legislation – the Cayman Islands being one of those territories.  The International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention) Law (Cayman Islands), 2015, was enacted and came into effect on November 1 2015 accordingly, the Cayman Islands received  international recognition under the Cape Town Convention.

Although the Cayman Islands Aircraft Registry had been recognising Cape Town filings under previous Cayman Islands Cape Town Legislation (2009), the ratification by the UK and its extension to the Cayman Islands, provided further comfort to global financial institutions that participate in aircraft finance transactions who wish to transact with parties in jurisdictions that are recognised under the Cape Town Convention.

Accordingly, relevant filings such as the Irrevocable Deregistration and Export Request Authorisation (IDERA) and the Consent to Deregister an aircraft from the Cayman Islands Aircraft Register, can now legally be filed with the Cayman Islands Aircraft Register under the Cape Town Protocol. Filings on the International Register for a Cayman Islands registered aircraft should be done independently by interested parties.

Unique Electronic Data Management system

An example of exceptional service from the CAACI is VP-C Online. This bespoke electronic data management system provides a secure way to manage all aircraft documents online, this   includes applications (starting with the registration application), certificates and approvals. VP-C Online is a convenient and secured way for CAACI clients to apply for authorisations and certificates that are required for both initial aircraft registration and for continuing airworthiness and operations. The ability for clients to file applications 24/7 from any time zone around the world is yet another positive client service benefit associated with The Registry. The secured portal also acts as a repository for all technical and supporting documentation for the registration and continuing airworthiness processes for the tenure of the aircraft while on the Registry. Clients will also enjoy the ability to check the status of applications and to re-print certificates or authorisations should the need arise. Clients have voiced that this convenient system makes the Cayman Islands Aircraft Registry a preferred choice in registration of aircraft.

Transitioning aircraft/Lessors’ portal

The CAACI recognises the importance of aircraft financiers and lessors as many of our clients in aircraft ownership and operation depend on these financial intermediaries. This is a valuable relationship we wish to foster through an insightful and collaborative understanding to the interdependencies of the industry. We have introduced material processes, online portals, bespoke products all specifically designed to support the interests of lessors. The CAACI is working to establish long term relationships with lessors that will provide ready solutions where aircraft registration support is required with emphasis beyond the registration process. The CAACI’s focus is to offer a Transition Register which is supported by highly experienced full-time personnel in view of equipment being offered to new lessees in multiple jurisdictions in an expeditious manner following our normal attention to stringent safety protocol. In addition to existing functionality VP-C Online is being innovated to include a Lessor Module whereby a lessor can apply for a VP-C Online account. This account will provide ready access to all of the airworthiness and operational certifications of the various aircraft of a particular lessor which has been registered in the Cayman Islands.

Continuous innovation

With a focus on the quality of service, flexibility,  bespoke online offerings, attention to detail and safety,  the CAACI continues to strive to set itself apart from other jurisdictions. The CAACI remains committed to offering a personal, responsive and high quality service to their customers, and to finding innovative and efficient solutions to the needs of those they work with.


The Cayman Islands Registry: Responsive…Efficient…Innovative! Offering total aircraft registration solutions.

Interested persons can contact the CAACI at [email protected] or visit the CAACI’s website for additional information www.caacayman.com.

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