Maples parks green aircraft on Cayman register
Maples and Calder has advised on a deal where a business jet has been registered on the Cayman Islands’ aircraft register whilst it is being fitted out in a completion centre. This protects the lender if the buyer defaults before the aircraft is finally delivered. It also means they financier get the benefits of the Cape Town Convention.
Maples and Calder, the Cayman Islands law firm, has successfully advised on the first deal where a green aircraft has been listed on the Cayman’s aircraft register.
Green aircraft are ones that have built by the manufacturer but have not been fully fitted out with interiors and are at a third party completion centre.
Aircraft are not typically registered until they are delivered to the buyer. The big benefit of registering it during the fit-out is that it makes it simpler for the aircraft’s financier to demonstrate its ownership if it needs to repossess the aircraft.
The Cayman registry, which is maintained by the maintained by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands, issues a certificate of registration to the aircraft owner, in this case the bank lending the money to finance the aircraft. It will only issue the certificate of airworthiness once the aircraft is completed but the aviation authority will issue special flight authorizations when the aircraft needs to be moved.
One of the benefits of using Cayman to register is that the aircraft is the aircraft is automatically opted into the Cape Town Convention which takes precedence over any other register. This makes it easier for owners to repossess aircraft.
One of the biggest disadvantages of the Cayman Islands for business jet owners is that the aviation authority does not allow owners to charter aircraft. However, it is possible to change registry after the aircraft is fitted out.