In Aruba aircraft are subject to registration in the Aruba Nationality Register (“NR”). Aircraft and interests in aircraft may also be registered in the Aruba Register of Registered Aircrafts (“ARR”) and the IR (as defined below).
The NR is based on the Chicago Convention 1944, as the aircraft registered in the NR obtains the Aruban nationality. The Chicago Convention applies to Aruba since 1947.
The registration in the ARR is based on the Geneva Convention on the International Recognition of Rights in Aircraft 1948, in respect of proprietary rights. The Geneva Convention applies to Aruba since 1988. Besides these treaties, since 1988 the 1933 Rome Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules relating to Precautionary Arrest of Aircraft applies to Aruba as well.
As of 1 September 2010, the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment 2001 (the “Cape Town Convention”) and the Aircraft Protocol to the Cape Town Convention apply to Aruba. Consequently Aruban (and foreign laws) security interests, conditional sale under a title reservation and a leasing agreement, constituting an international interest pursuant to the Cape Town Convention, can be registered in the International Registry of Mobile Assets (“IR”) in Ireland. With the registration of the international interest in the IR such interest will have priority over any other interest subsequently registered and over unregistered interests.
Registration in the Aruba Nationality Register
An aircraft can be registered in the NR, if the aircraft is owned by, or leased to:
(i) a resident of Aruba;
(ii) a legal entity having its corporate seat in Aruba;
(iii) a legal entity and that is governed by the laws of:
a. a European Union member state;
b. an Agreement on the European Economic Area member state;
e. Unites States of America; or
(iv) a legal entity that is governed by the laws of a state that is listed in the annex to the Ministerial Decree dated February 7, 2014 for the amendment of the Regulation on registration and registration mark (AB 1991 no. GT 36)
The aircraft may be registered in the NR by the above mentioned (legal) persons. If such abovementioned (legal) person is the holder of the aircraft pursuant to a lease, management or operating agreement, or by virtue of an agreement for the transfer of fiduciary ownership, then the obligations imposed on an owner of the aircraft, as provided in the Regulation on registration and registration reference (in Dutch: Regeling inschrijving en inschrijvingskenmerk, AB 1991 no. GT 36), shall be fulfilled by the holder of such aircraft.
After registration in the NR, the aircraft itself will have the Aruban nationality, regardless of its place of operation. It is possible to operate the aircraft outside Aruba, but the aircraft is always subject to periodical inspection of the Department of Civil Aviation of Aruba (DCA).
Before an aircraft can be registered in the NR, the aircraft needs to be inspected by inspectors of the DCA. After the aircraft has been duly inspected and provided that the aircraft meets all the requirements of the DCA, the DCA will issue the required certificates and licenses for the registration, such as the Airworthiness Certificate, Aircraft Registration License, Radio Station License, Maximum Take-Off Weight Declaration and Noise Certificate.
Registration in the Aruba Register of Registered Aircraft
Once the aircraft is an Aruban aircraft (after registration in the NR), it is possible to register the ownership of the aircraft and any proprietary rights, such as an Aruban law mortgage, in the ARR. Any proprietary rights can only be registered in the ARR if the aircraft itself is registered in the ARR.
The aircraft can only be registered in the ARR if and when:
- It is an aircraft registered in the NR;
- It has not been registered in another register (Geneva Convention);
- A declaration of maximum take-off weight has been issued; and
- A written declaration is submitted to and approved by the Court of First Instance of Aruba stating that the aircraft is suitable for registration in the ARR, accompanied with an extract from the NR and a declaration of maximum take-off weight. A formal request to obtain the approval of the court will have to be filed with the court. The approval by the Aruban court usually is provided in a couple of days.