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Isle Of Man Aircraft Register Celebrates First Birthday

by Jason Gorringe,, London

05 May 2008

The Isle of Man Aircraft Registry on 1st May celebrated its first anniversary having registered more than 50 aircraft since its launch on 1st May 2007.

Unlike most other registries, where both private and commercially operated aircraft are accepted, the Isle of Man’s register is focussed solely on high quality private and corporate aircraft. This is supported by the Island’s well established banking sector experienced in financing aircraft, lawyers familiar with aviation law, insurance companies which can provide cover without the addition of an insurance premium tax and corporate service providers experienced in structuring companies to take advantage of the Island’s beneficial tax regime. Now the Aircraft Registry is so well established, the Isle of Man has become widely regarded as a one-stop shop for worldwide aviation business.

Since 9/11 there has been a huge growth in sales of private and corporate business jets. In 2007 worldwide annual sales of new jets exceeded 1000 aircraft for the first time and order books for certain models are full for some years to come. Corporate aviation is increasingly providing the business community with a cost effective and time saving alternative to commercial travel with its reputation for delayed flights and security queues.

The Aircraft Registry’s target aircraft are professionally-flown new corporate jets for international blue-chip companies which will find that conducting business on the Isle of Man is a friendly, efficient experience. For many, registering their aircraft will mark the start of a long business relationship. The quality of the companies attracted to the Register in its first year of operation is very impressive and includes world leading manufacturers. Indeed one of the world’s largest business jet manufacturers has recently registered its own company aircraft.

Unlike some other registers, M prefix registrations can be transferred between aircraft. International financier Jim Mellon registered the very first aircraft as M-ELON. This has since been joined by M-AGIC and M-YSKY and another forthcoming addition to the Register is M-RBIG.

David Cretney, Minister for Trade and Industry said:

“Our original estimate was that a combination of up to 12 corporate jets and helicopters might be registered in the first year but we have now registered no less than 51 aircraft. The number is all the more impressive when you consider that we have turned down a similar number of aircraft, including historic war planes and light aircraft, which did not meet our business plan. The register has proved to be a huge success.”

Capt. Brian E Johnson, the Island’s first Director of Civil Aviation, said:

“The launch of the Aircraft Registry could not have been better timed to benefit from the growth in private aviation. The registration process itself is very straightforward and, like the successful Isle of Man Super Yacht register, is cost neutral and not a ‘flag of convenience’. We provide a friendly customer focused service with a highly competitive scheme of charges not usually found in Government registers.”

The Minister concluded by saying: “We can be immensely proud of the achievements demonstrated by the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry in its first year of operation. Aside from its direct economic benefits, it adds significant prestige to the image of the Island as an international business location.”

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