Having enjoyed spectacular success with the launch of the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry in 2007, Brian Johnson moved to Appleby (Booth 4439) to help the legal services company and offshore specialist advise Jersey, in the Channel Islands near France, launch its own registry. Ironically, Johnson was recently thrown back into his old role as his replacement in the Isle of Man, Hartley Elder, took early retirement. But wearing two hats–acting director of civil aviation in the Isle of Man and as a consultant at Appleby–has not created a conflict between the old and the new registries, Johnson told AIN.
One issue with the Jersey Aircraft Registry is that nearby Guernsey already launched its registry last December, naming it the Channel Islands Aircraft Registry (2-REG). Here at EBACE this week it announced that it had registered its first business aircraft, 2-TRAV, a Gulfstream GIV operated by ExecuJet Aviation Group.
Johnson said he has been brought in through Appleby “to teach them how to set up the aircraft registry modeled on the Isle of Man–with the same ideas with some improvements [which the Isle of Man has implemented since launch].” The ZJ-prefix has been reserved for Jersey and although there is no go date as yet–as approval has to be given by the UK’s Privy Council that overseas British crown dependencies such as Jersey and Guernsey–Johnson said there has been a lot of interest, “so we are aiming for the third quarter of 2014.”
Johnson would like it if Jersey could replicate the success of the Isle of Man (which registered 51 aircraft in its first year). He sees it not so much as a competition as giving customers a wider choice in the market, as some prefer the M-register. In fact he said that the Isle of Man, where Appleby also has an office, can handle setting up special purpose companies that can benefit from the Isle of Man’s VAT and customs status with the UK, even if the owner prefers the aircraft to be on the Jersey or another register. All of the three registries (Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey) are limited to private aircraft, as commercial air transport aircraft are handled by the UK CAA’s G-register.
Meanwhile the Isle of Man’s success continues. On May 15 Johnson told AIN, “So far this month we have had 15 registrations in 15 days” at the Isle of Man registry, taking the total now to 434 on the seven-year old register. (It has registered 688 in total but some aircraft leave or are on the registry temporarily while being imported/exported to/from Europe, and it is permitted to register airliners temporarily while awaiting new homes after repossessions, for example.)