The first edition of the World Aircraft Repossession Index, including 57 important jurisdictions worldwide, has been published on October, 30th, 2015. The initiative to realise this unique work was undertaken by the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and it is available free-of-charge. See the websites below. The publication is a most workable tool for risk rating agencies, export credit institutions, lessors, financiers, practicing lawyers, academics, students and the international aviation finance and lease practice at large. Lincoln Gomez and I of the law firm Gomez & Bikker had the pleasure to be invited to participate as the counsel for the jurisdiction Aruba in regard to providing the local expert analysis. The final outcome of the local research is based on seven special criteria, which numerically establish the legal and practical success of repossessing aircraft in each contributing country. Besides, the index provides for an overview and a worldmap which highlight the overall score of each participating jurisdiction. We are delighted to emphasize that worldwide Aruba has the highest score of all the 57 contributing states. In addition, it is particularly noteworthy that the competing ‘aircraft nationality registries of choice’ have obtained much lower aggregate scores. While worldwide Aruba is the only country having an overall 100 % score, the latter off-shore aviation finance jurisdictions have scored between 58 and 91 %. In summary, the publication clearly confirms that Aruba is the leading registry of choice!

Click to access Publication_1029_Final.pdf

By: B. Patrick Honnebier

#arubaguy #thearubaguy #arubalawyer #lincolngomez


Successful aircraft repossession in Aruba: Aruba a registry and a judicial system of choice!

This Registry of Aruba was the first privately managed Category-1 aircraft registry in the world as rated by the FAA. Aruba was also the first off shore aircraft jurisdiction to adopt the Cape Town Convention, as early as in 2010. Aruba’s sound legal system and sophisticated courts can also offer even more value to the business aviation community. The Courts of Aruba just evidenced the latter through recent decisions.

Aruba’s sound and efficient legal system – combined with proper application thereof – allowed for an internationally operating lessor to arrest a YV-(Venezuelan) registered aircraft in Aruba and within days obtain a favorable decision by the court ordering the lessee to release the aircraft and records and to de-register the aircraft from the YV-registry. To encourage compliance with the courts decision the court awarded an immediately payable penalty of US$ 100,000. — per day or per portion thereof up to a maximum amount of US$ 6,000,000.–.

It is noteworthy that the decision was scheduled for 2 weeks following the hearing, however in the interest of both lessor and lessee to obtain certainty over the status of the aircraft and to preserve the integrity of the aircraft the Court of First Instance of Aruba issued the decision in 1 week!

The swift process evidences that the courts realize the importance of these aircraft related matters and is consistent with the Declarations as to the meaning of the word “speedy” in articles 13(1) of the Convention and X of the Protocol although the Convention was not applicable to the lease in question since the debtor was a Venezuelan entity and Venezuela is not a party to the Convention. This shows that the Court of Aruba is reliable and efficient.

The aircraft lessee was a Venezuelan start-up airline who during the certification process had been in default for almost 2 years. The lessor was a U.S. Owner Trustee and the beneficial owner a Canadian leasing company. The aircraft came to Aruba on a test flight and the lessor was able to use Aruba as forum arresti. New York law was the law governing the lease and the Court upheld the application on NY law including the default(s) of the lessee and the termination of the lease.

I would also like to point out that the recent decision of the Court was the second issued in 2015, as earlier in the year the Court ordered, arrested and liberated a foreign registered and stolen (!) aircraft when it landed in Aruba. The difference with the earlier case is that it was a judgment by default, which would allow certain critics (and surely the skeptics) to claim that the court in these matters remains “untested”.

Well in this case the proof of the pudding is in the eating and in the opinion of the lessor and the lessor’s Aruba based attorney – yours truly – the pudding is/was delicious.

#arubaguy #thearubaguy #arubalawyer #lincolngomez