Aviation Sector Competition Rises, Bahamas Risks Falling Behind

Friday 04th, April 2014 / 09:25 Published by

llewellyn-boyer-cartwright

Callenders partner says Aruba easing restrictions, expanding offerings to boost business; UK moving towards ratification of the Cape Town Convention

The Bahamas risks falling behind in the quickly-growing aviation sector that accounts for $107 billion in regional revenue if it does not keep pace with other countries that are making it easier and more attractive to do business, according to a local aviation law expert.

Llewellyn Boyer-Cartwright, a leading proponent of The Bahamas establishing an international aircraft registry, is concerned that while this country is moving in the right direction, competition is getting stronger as other jurisdictions are aggressively marketing their registries.

“The Bahamas is making good progress toward the establishment of an international aircraft registry, however the momentum has slowed somewhat,” said Boyer-Cartwright, a partner at the law firm of Callenders & Co. where he specializes in real estate and Aviation Law. “The study committee completed its work, requests for tender went out, and proposals for the feasibility of establishing a global competitive registry have been received, which we trust the government is reviewing.”

Meanwhile, Aruba has enacted new aircraft registration regulations to accommodate the demands of the rapidly expanding aviation industry, and there is evidence that the U.K. is inching closer to signing the Cape Town Convention, further enticing aircraft owners, lessors, insurers and financiers to remain registry loyal.

Brazil, in November 2013, promulgated new regulations pertaining to its Aeronautical Registry (RAB). According to Boyer-Cartwright, the new regulations will be of interest to both onshore operators and offshore lessors and financial institutions. “No doubt the new regulations are indicative of Brazil’s commitment to its financial sector,” he said.

And, just last month, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands hosted a seminar for law firms, corporate management companies and government officials with a view to improving legislative And, just last month, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands hosted a seminar for law firms, corporate management companies and government officials with a view to improving legislative requirements and processes for registering aircraft, says the man who flew B737s for Bahamasair and B727s for Laker Airways before turning to law some 20 years ago.

More recently, Boyer-Cartwright has been leading the charge for a registry he says will be a huge economic boost to the country.

The fees will be nominal, he said, but an international registry will be an added bonus to the array of financial service products allowing The Bahamas to rank among the most desirable of full-service offshore financial jurisdictions.

The registry could be headquartered in Nassau with satellite stations at the Bahamas Maritime Authority offices in London and Hong Kong, alongside the Bahamas Ship Registry and Yacht Registry.

“High net worth individuals who have mobile assets, including a private jet and a mega-yacht and who choose to live in any one of the exclusive communities in New Providence or even on a private island do not want to have to do business in multiple jurisdictions which is more costly and less efficient,” said Boyer-Cartwright.

“And by satisfying the needs of the high net worth individual or that company considering The Bahamas, we are then providing all sorts of opportunities for Bahamian entrepreneurs in new businesses.”

The country’s ship registry is the fourth largest in the world and Boyer-Cartwright believes the aircraft registry can be modeled after it, accepting only new aircraft, or aircraft that are less than 15 years old – thereby avoiding the undesirable reputation of being regarded as a mere flag of convenience.

“We want the Bahamas International Aircraft Registry to operate with the same world-respected standards as the ship registry that attracts the finest tonnage such as Disney, Carnival and Holland America,” said Boyer-Cartwright. “Orders for new aircraft have never been greater and this is our opportunity to develop an industry that would have major benefits for so many young Bahamians.”

Diane Phillips and Assoicates

Caption: Callenders & Co. Partner and aviation law expert Llewellyn Boyer-Cartwright, who has been invited to play a dual role at a conference in Panama next week, expresses concern that the competition in international aircraft registries is upping its game as The Bahamas considers ratifying a global convention that will pave the way for the much-anticipated Bahamas international registry.

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