Cape Town Convention to be implemented in the Isle of Man


Aircraft registered in the Isle Of Man wear the M- prefix.

The Cape Town Convention will take effect in the Isle of Man in the New Year, marking the culmination of a three-year strategy to enhance safety and enable the island’s aircraft registry to flourish.

From 1 January 2018, owners of business aircraft registered in the Isle of Man will be able to request that an Irrevocable De-Registration and Export Request Authorisation (IDERA) is recorded by the registry. They may also be able to get access to cheaper finance and be protected if a default happens.

Simon Williams, director of civil aviation at the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry, welcomed the development, and paid tribute to his “capable and focused” team who helped him to implement the strategy.

“I’m absolutely delighted that the Convention is being applied – really, really pleased,” Williams told Corporate Jet Investor. “This team achievement has coincided with our move to superb new bespoke offices at Ronaldsay Airport and so represents a culmination of my three-year strategic plan.

“I am genuinely very fortunate to be working with a very capable and focused group of people that constantly deliver and always give more than is asked of them. The success and credit belongs to them.”

The Cape Town Convention, along with its Protocol on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment, aims to make it cheaper to raise finance for large, high value mobile assets that routinely cross borders. It provides standard resolutions in the event that a debtor defaults on repayments, and the Protocol modifies the Convention to meet the particular requirements of aircraft financing and leasing such as being able to ask for an aircraft to be removed from the national civil aircraft register and to export it.

Williams said that, when he was appointed to his role in October 2014, he developed a strategic plan that would “continue to enhance safety while concurrently setting conditions that would be conducive to a flourishing international industry”. Successfully implementing the Cape Town Convention on the Isle of Man was a top priority within that strategy.

The Isle of Man was unable to implement the Convention in its own right and had to seek an extension of the UK’s ratification.

“It is a highly complex area of legislation, requiring careful consideration, consultation, drafting of regulation and legislation while balancing the needs of industry, existing law plus obtaining agreement on the detail from the UK. This major project has taken time but it is worth it because it is important to get these things right,” he said. “The effort is also worth it because of the additional benefit that we are able to offer to our clients and, obviously, the hope is that this move will help bring more business to IOMAR and the Island economy.

“We will always continue to work tirelessly in support of our client base and to be listening, proactive aviation safety regulators. Hopefully, Cape Town Convention implementation can help further our broader success while benefitting industry.”

The Isle of Man Register of Aircraft Mortgages while remain open once the Cape Town Convention is implemented.