The Isle of Man Aircraft Registry, launched with modest expectations by the island’s government in May 2007, is seeing no letting up in activity as business aircraft owners seize on the advantages of using the M-register. Various factors are driving the registry’s popularity, including banks’ advising owners to distance themselves from Russia; VAT rules; impending ratification by the UK of the Cape Town Convention; intensified scrutiny of U.S.
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man Aircraft Registry continues to grow after seven years of operation, with almost 500 private aircraft around the world now sporting the M-registration.
Recent geopolitical tensions involving Russia have fueled interest further in the registry, with lawyers advising Russian clients to distance their assets from that country and banks reluctant to finance assets that could be confiscated. “The aim is to take out the Russian risk,” said Mark Bisset of Clyde & Co., speaking at the fourth annual Isle of Man Aviation Conference last week.
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.
Southern England-based business aircraft sales, charter and management firm ConnectJets has been awarded the UK dealership for the Piaggio Aero Avanti II. As such, it is now the dealer for the twin turboprop in the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. ConnectJets said it will soon announce a partner so it can launch a shared-ownership program later this year for Avanti II clients throughout the UK and aforementioned self-governing Crown dependencies.
Private Jet Company (PJC), a new $4 million FBO due to open next week on the Isle of Man, is promising substantial savings for aircraft operators using it as a transit point in and out of the European Union (EU). Since the British Crown Dependency is outside the EU, it claims it can provide savings of up to 60 percent from reduced exposure to the cost of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme charges.
After four highly successful years Brian Johnson, the man behind the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry and the island’s first Director of Civil Aviation, leaves on August 26 to pursue a new challenge (the Swaziland registry, according to some reports).
Ronaldsway Airport on the Isle of Man expects to award by the end of this month a contract to build and operate a new FBO to cater to the growing number of business aircraft visiting the offshore financial center. Construction work is due to begin in the summer and should be completed within 12 months. The new facility will include almost 27,000 sq ft of hangar space with an adjoining dedicated ramp
of almost 22,000 sq ft.
The new Isle of Man aircraft registry could be a possible safe haven for N-registered business aircraft based in Europe. European civil aviation authorities, such as those of France and the UK, have indicated that they are unwilling to tolerate the situation in which aircraft that spend most of their time in Europe remain on the U.S.
In the year since it was created on May 1, 2007, the Isle of Man aircraft registry has established itself as a popular offshore registry for business jet owners. Just over 50 aircraft have taken the Isle of Man’s M-tail numbers, more than four times the number targeted by the British Crown Dependency’s government.
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