Cape Town Treaty Applies To Aircraft Share Owners

Business Jet Traveler » June 2007
Friday, June 1, 2007 - 5:00am

Aircraft fractional shareowners can be included in the International Registry of Mobile Assets (IRMA), giving them the same Cape Town Treaty protection that sole owners have had since March 2006.

IRMA management company Aviareto has announced that it has begun registering multiple owners of a single aircraft. Since the whole aircraft must be accounted for, initial registration of fractionally owned aircraft will show that program operators hold 100 percent, which will be diluted until all shares are sold. At that point, the fractional provider will hold "zero-percent" interest.

The treaty protocol applies to fixed-wing aircraft that can carry at least eight people (including crew) or helicopters with a passenger capacity of five or more (including crew). Sixteen countries are signatories to the treaty, which is intended to reduce creditors' risk through the clarification of asset ownership and priorities of financial interest.

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“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”

-Howard Guy of Design Q, a UK-based consultancy