Business aviation consultant is made an expert witness


Business aviation consultant Roland McKay has been appointed as an expert witness for aircraft value assessment in Germany.

He was sworn in by Dr Christian Hinsch, president of the Hannover Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at a special ceremony during last week’s meeting of the Chamber at the HDI Arena in Hannover.

His appointment means that he is now officially recognised as an expert in business jets and corporate aircraft above 5.7 tonnes across Europe. He has statutory duties as a court surveyor to provide independent and impartial testimony, as well as being able to advise individuals and companies.

It follows a complicated, two-and-a-half-year process of attending seminars and passing tests. His appointment will last for three years, and then his performance will be reviewed and he will be re-appointed for another five years.

“It is a huge honour to be chosen to be appointed as court surveyor – it’s the highest level you can be,” said McKay (pictured). “We have many experts in the field [of business aviation] but only a handful are really recognised by the authorities – as far as I know, I’m the only one who’s official for corporate aircraft over 5.7 tonnes. I’m now part of the legal system and my opinion is now officially independent.

“An opinion from a publicly certified expert will lend certainty to entrepreneurial, court and private decisions. This is precisely what motivated the German legislature to introduce public certification. The fact that the state recognises the special qualifications of a particular expert and the special quality of his work makes it easier for companies, courts and, for example, individual aircraft owners to make their choice and guarantees that an expert opinion will meet the high requirements placed on it.”

McKay, who is a member of the German Aircraft Appraisers Association, began his career in 1975, at the Lufthansa Technical School, as a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer, working on line and base maintenance. He then worked for Airbus before leaving aviation to join a management consulting firm. He returned to the sector in 2001 and gained experience of appraising a wide range of aircraft, including business jets including Phenom, Citation, Falcon, Challenger and Gulfstream.

He now runs his own company,, conducting corporate jet surveys, appraising aircraft, arranging deliveries and carrying out repossessions.

He said being appointed as a court surveyor would help him to “foster my impartial, neutral and independent opinion”.