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Irish Aircraft Registry Now Allows Fractional Ownership

by Robin Pilgrim, LawAndTax-News.com, London

19 June 2007


It was announced in Dublin last week that fractional and partial ownership of aircraft can now be registered on the International Registry of Mobile Assets, a global database established under the Cape Town Convention that records security interests in and determines legal priority of interests in aircraft, helicopters and engines.

The change, which came into effect at the beginning of June, was in response to the increasing numbers of corporations and individuals owning partial shares in aircraft.

The International Registry of Mobile Assets went live on March 1st, 2006 after Malaysia became the 8th country to ratify the Cape Town Treaty effectively bringing it into force on that date. The registry provides a central repository – an electronic database – that records sales and financial interests in mobile assets (airframes, aircraft engines and helicopters), establishing priority of interest in such holdings. Aviareto, a joint venture between aero industry IT provider SITA and the Irish Government, has a contract with the International Civil Aviation Authority Organization (ICAO), the Supervisory Authority of the International Registry, to operate the Registry for the benefit of users.

The Registry’s new service ensures that the benefits of the Cape Town Convention are extended to partial owners of aircraft and their financiers. The partial or fractional ownership of private aircraft is now a rapidly growing segment throughout the world, having commenced in the United States some twenty years ago.

The changes to the Registry required to accommodate partial ownership of aircraft were designed in close consultation with a working group of the International Registry Advisory Board. Under the new process, a drop down list provides a choice of eleven percentages ranging from 3.125% to 50% which may be chosen in respect of each interest; alternatively a percentage with up to six decimal places may be inputted.

Niall Greene, Managing Director of Aviareto Limited, said, “The additional functionality we have just introduced on the Registry is in direct response to the needs of the fractional ownership market. The changes to the Registry, made in consultation with our Advisory Board, mark the most significant structural improvement to the Registry since its launch 18 months ago. Additional planned improvements include providing users with the ability to register multiple assets in a single transaction, and increasing the speed of the approval process for administrators and entities.”


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