Should you be concerned? Non-US Citizens & Aircraft Ownership in the U.S.A.

For many years foreign entrepreneurs have purchased business jet in the U.S.A. and held these aircraft through a Non Citizens Trust (“NCT”) while operating them primarily outside of the U.S. The FAA use of these NCT structures has been under intense scrutiny of the Department of Transport (“DOT”). The Inspector General of the DOT audited the FAA and concluded that the FAA was (simply) lacking in information needed for aviation and safety and security measures and as such has requested the FAA to take corrective measures. The FAA has introduced a new policy, effective as of September 16th, 2013. The DOT has reviewed the policy and concluded that policy does not ensure that FAA will have the information it needs for proper safety and security oversight. The DOT wants to see more action from the FAA and wants the FAA to collect more information from the owners such as: their identity, their relationship with the U.S. Trustee and the base of operation of the aircraft. An estimate indicates that about 5,600 aircrafts are currently owned by foreigners and registered with the FAA under this scheme. Non-compliance with federal regulations is not something these foreign owners would want to risk. Once the information is provided to the FAA, the FAA will then be in a position to share this information with foreign aviation authorities to carry out their domestic safety oversight functions or other related functions.

Aruba is conveniently located of the coast of Latin-America and is a constituent country of the Dutch Kingdom. English and Spanish are widely spoken and Aruba has a fully operational FBO. The Registry of Aruba does not face similar issues or limitations and is an established and well-respected operators’ registry that is able to perform a safety and security oversight at the required levels of the applicable regulations and ICAO requirements without compromising the privacy of business jet owners. The registration process can be completed within 2-3 days of a completion of the application and inspection.

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