DOT IG, FAA Disagree on Non-citizen Trust Registrations

 - February 6, 2014, 1:20 PM

“There is a fundamental difference between the FAA and Department of Transportation Inspector General about non-citizen trust [NCT] aircraft registrations,” FAA deputy chief counsel Marc Warren told attendees this morning at the NBAA business aircraft finance, registration and legal conference in St. Petersburg, Fla. Last Friday, the DOT IG issued a memo that said the FAA still does “not have the information it needs on numerous aircraft owned under non-U.S. citizen trusts, or that this information may not be readily available,” even though the FAA clarified its NCT policy in June last year to require that trustees provide information about the operators to the FAA in a timely manner.

But the timeline for getting this information is one of the differences in opinion between the two agencies. The DOT IG said the FAA’s new policy requires trustees to provide the identities and locations of trustors within 48 hours, but Warren said the policy offers “guidelines” and added that the FAA is “flexible” on receiving the information.

Another area of disagreement is which NCT registrations have to meet the new guidelines. Warren said that previous NCT registrations are grandfathered, with only new or amended ones having to meet the updated guidelines. But the DOT IG believes that all NCT registrations–whether old or new–must meet the reporting requirements. To this end, the DOT IG took a random sampling of 77 aircraft registered by the five largest trustees and found they were unable to provide the requested information for 35 of 47 operators.