Jersey register faces more problems


Jersey's first registered business jet CJ4 ZJ-THC (Photo: Bob Sauvary)

Jersey’s aircraft register, set up in 2015 at a cost of £860,000, suffered another setback in October, after its technical support company Avisa was sold.

The CAVOK Group, which bought Avisa, decided not to continue the support contract.

Without technical services, the register was forced to ground its only aircraft until a new technical support contract could be put in place.

According to the Jersey Evening Post website, the grounding lasted for a week.

The only aircraft registered currently, a 2015-build Cessna Citation CJ4 registered ZJ-THC, was undergoing maintenance in Bournemouth at the time of the grounding.

The new technical support supplier, Regio Lease, has been appointed for a six-month interim period while a new business model for the register is being built.

Although the register was set up to compete with others including the Isle of Man and Guernsey, the Jersey register has so far attracted only two aircraft: the CJ4 and a helicopter. The CJ4 is the only aircraft currently registered, as the helicopter has been sold.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted to the government of Jersey earlier this year revealed that it had cost £860,801 to set up the register. The majority of the costs involved were in IT development, where £372,000 was spent. A further £177,000 was spent on specialist advice and consultancy, and £115,000 on registrar services.

The government spent a further £17,000 on travel and associated expenses, and £96,000 on miscellaneous expenses, including internal resources.

The register was originally planned as a joint effort between Jersey and Guernsey, but the islands decided to go their separate ways in August 2013.

During a meeting of the Jersey government’s Economic Affairs Scrutiny Panel in July 2013, the status of the registry was raised, specifically whether any work had been done to update the business case that had previously been submitted.

The question was answered by the strategic policy manager, who said: “Has some work been done in looking at the business case recently? No. When the work was undertaken three years ago, we were looking at statistics which were pre-2008. The world was very different.”

In 2008, before the global economic crisis, there were 1,313 business jet deliveries. In 2016 there were just 661 aircraft delivered.

In September of 2013, the same year that the decision was made to break away from the idea of a dual register alongside Guernsey, the island’s government decided to go ahead with the registry of aircraft, aircraft engines and aircraft mortgages.

The following year, in a report commissioned by the government, it was noted that the register could generate between £17 million and £30 million in fees, but it later acknowledged that this projection was based on pre-2008 data.

Corporate Jet Investor contacted the Jersey register on 14 November to request an interview to clarify the current position. However, it has not replied.