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Aircraft Registration

Aircraft registration in Malta is regulated by the 2010 Aircraft Registration Act (‘the Act’) which provides the legal infrastructure through which aircraft can be registered. Provisions of the Cape Town Convention and the Aircraft Protocol have also been implemented within the Act confirming Malta as a top aviation jurisdiction.

There are a number of advantages to registering an aircraft in Malta since it provides for:

  • A highly advantageous corporate tax regime;
  • Fiscal incentives specifically catered for the aviation sector;
  • The recognition of fractional ownership of aircraft, meaning that the title to the aircraft can be divided between co-owners in specific fractions. Each specific fraction of ownership can also be financed by a different creditor taking security over a particular fractional interest for which finance has been provided;
  • The possibility of registering an aircraft not used in commercial air transport;
  • The possibility of registering an aircraft under construction as soon as it is uniquely identifiable. An aircraft is considered to be uniquely identifiable when the description of the aircraft contains its manufacturer serial number, the name of the manufacturer and its model designation.

Who is considered as a qualified person to register an aircraft?

In accordance with the Act, the following are considered to be qualified persons to register any type of aircraft:

  • The Government of Malta;
  • A citizen of Malta or a citizen of a Member State of the EU or of an EEA State, or Switzerland, having a place of residence or business in Malta, the EU,  the  European  Economic  Area  or Switzerland,  including  a  person  sharing  in  the ownership of such aircraft by virtue of the community of  acquests  subsisting  between  such  person  and  a citizen as described above in whose name the aircraft is registered;
  • An undertaking formed and existing in accordance with the laws of Malta, of a Member State of the EU, of an EEA State or of Switzerland and having its  registered  office,  central  administration  and principal  place  of  business  within  Malta,  or  the EU, or the EEA or Switzerland, whereof not less than fifty per cent of the undertaking is owned and effectively controlled by the Government of Malta, or by any Member State of the EU,  or  by citizens of Malta or Member States of the EU whether directly or indirectly through one or more intermediate undertakings.

In order to register a private aircraft, which is an aircraft that will not be used to provide air services, the registrant must be a natural person who is a citizen of, or an undertaking established in an approved jurisdiction as approved by the Minister by the Aircraft Registrations (Approved Jurisdictions) Regulations, 2011 provided that:

  • He/she has legal capacity to own or operate an aircraft in terms of law;
  • Appoints a local resident agent to represent the owner in Malta for matters concerning the registration of the aircraft and;
  • Complies with applicable regulations/guidelines.

Capacity to register an aircraft

The applicant seeking registration must be:

  1. An owner of the aircraft who operates such aircraft
  2. An owner of an aircraft under construction or temporarily not being managed or operated
  3. An operator of an aircraft under a temporary title –
  4. A buyer of an aircraft under a conditional sale or title reservation or similar agreement and who is authorised to operate the aircraft. Under such an arrangement, the buyer takes possession of the aircraft but title and right of repossession remain with the seller until the buyer pays the full price of the aircraft.

DF Advocates can assist you with both the regulatory and practical aspects of registering your aircraft in Malta. For further information on how our team can assist you in registering your aircraft, kindly contact us on info@dfadvocates.com

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