Business jets registered
Air Operators Certificates
Commercial airline aircraft
Words by Alexandria Colindres
Tell us a bit about the jurisdiction?
Solo ta briya. The sun is shining. It’s something we Arubans say more than anyone else in the Caribbean.
Aruba culture is like nothing else in the Caribbean; it is an autonomous and self-governing state of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and an overseas territory of the European Union.
Aruba together with the Netherlands, Curacao and Saint Maarten constitutes the Kingdom of the Netherlands and therefore shares in a collective ICAO membership. In 1986 Aruba attained an autonomous state within the kingdom, and the Department of Civil Aviation Aruba (DCA) was founded.
In 1995, the DCA of Aruba partnered with Aviation Registry Group (ARG) and significant changes were made in the regulation to meet the level of the new European Joint Aviation Requirements (JAR-OPS, JAR-FCL, etc.). By meeting these requirements, Aruba received high scores in the US Department of Transport (DOT) FAA audit; this resulted in an IASA-Category 1 listing. Aruba was re-audited by the FAA in 2013 and maintained its Cat-1 status.
These extensive efforts ensured a thorough safety culture with the aviation authorities in Aruba. The aviation authorities and ARG have focused on the achievement to operate with the highest ICAO safety standards.
Aruba’s commitment to excellence in safety and its determination to put customers above bureaucracy, promises for a unique aircraft registration experience that is a step above the rest.
Join us in Aruba, experience the service offered by a one-stop aircraft registry while relaxing on our world-class top-rated beaches.
Tell us a bit about the registry?
Established in 1995, the Registry of Aruba was the first privately-managed aircraft registration programme rated Category-1 by the FAA, with a regulatory framework in compliance with international standards (ICAO).
Aruba is an OECD white-listed, tax-efficient jurisdiction with an outstanding reputation that offers flexibility and value-added services that are enhanced through the introduction of the Cape Town Convention and the registration of an aircraft through the election of domicile.
Innovation continues in Aruba as we develop and grow our client services to offer the most qualified registration, certification, and inspection team and efficiently manage all the details associated with registering your aircraft.
With a dedicated and experienced staff, our management and technical personnel are available 24/7 to offer personalised and effective service to meet all operational needs from day one.
Our top priority is providing excellence in service and creating long-lasting relationships with our customers.
We pride ourselves in offering unrivaled boutique-appeal solutions dedicated to preserving Air Safety First.
How can I use my aircraft?
Private use: Yes.
Corporate use: Yes.
Commercial air transport/aircraft charter: Yes.
Aerial work: Yes, with DCA authorisation.
Unmanned aerial vehicles: Yes, with DCA authorisation.
What sort of aircraft do you consider:
Are there weight restrictions: Yes, 5,700 kg and 1,000 kg for helicopters.
Which aircraft type certificates are accepted: EASA, FAA, Transport Canada, & Brazil.
Are there age restrictions: Aircraft manufactured before 1 January 1980.
Are aircraft registered in the name of aircraft operator or the aircraft owner?
Aruba is neither a operator or owners’ registry. Our official memorandum DOM 01 that offers a complete overview of the person or company who qualifies to hold ownership of an aircraft registered in Aruba. While also listing the critical elements enacted when electing domicile and provides a list of the countries that qualify to complete aircraft registration in Aruba through this legislation.
The registration of an aircraft under the domicile regime does not create a taxable presence in Aruba, and it eliminates the need to form an Aruban company or corp-oration. Thus, by utilising the domicile regimen, qualified foreign legal-corporate entities & US Trustees can keep their existing company structure when registering in Aruba. Complete application form IASO A-80 for aircraft registration via domicile. Submit along with IASO form A-80 articles of incorporation and letter of good standing of the company appointed as the registering entity, along with additional compliance documentation. For further information on how to register your aircraft via domicile, please contact us at email@example.com
Are there nationality requirements and if so what are they? There are no such requirement, you do not need to be an Aruba national to register your aircraft in Aruba. Instead Aruba allows for, foreign legal corporate entities and US trustees can keep their existing company structures by electing to register their aircraft in Aruba via domicile.
The registration of an aircraft under the domicile regime does not create a taxable presence in Aruba and can be accomplished in less than 24 hours.
What are the typical structures used? Aruban Exempt Company (in Dutch: Arubaanse Vrijgestelde Vennootschap; abbreviated as AVV) or Domicile.
Is there a requirement to have local directors as shareholders? No.
Do you need to have a local office or physical presence to register an aircraft? No.
What continuing requirements are there to keep an aircraft registered? To keep the aircraft registered in Aruba, the operator must comply with Aruban regulations, keeping all certificates current and valid.
Inspections and CoAs
What are the requirements for a Certificate of Airworthiness?
For the first issuance of a Certificate of Airworthiness (CoA) an airworthiness inspection by the DCA Airworthiness Inspector is required. In addition, the following documents shall be submitted:
- Completed application form for a Certificate of Airworthiness (DCA Form INS-4.009)
- Copy of previous Certificate of Airworthiness
- Summary of maintenance status
- The current Aircraft Maintenance Programme
- Required manuals / documentation for the Type Certificate acceptance (if applicable).
For further information, please refer to our regulation AUA-RLW found on our website, for the requirements for a Certificate of Airworthiness.
What is the inspection interval for a Certificate of Airworthiness/how often does the registry inspect aircraft? Certificate of Airworthiness inspections are conducted annually. The renewal inspection by a current operator can be requested to be conducted up to 60 days prior to the expiration of the current CoA.
What operational requirements are there? Please refer to our regulation AUA-OPS 2 (General Aviation) or AUA-OPS 1 (Commercial Air Transport), found on our website.
How many airworthiness inspectors does the registry have? The Registry of Aruba currently has 22 Airworthiness Designated Inspectors.
Where are the inspectors based? We currently have inspectors based in six out of the seven continents. For the most up-to-date and accurate account of the location on our inspectors, please refer to our website, as our pool of designated inspectors is constiniously expanding.
Registration costs and service
What is the initial cost to register an aircraft?
Our certificate of registration is free-of-charge, but our fee for your Certificate of Airworthiness is based on the maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of the aircraft.
However, we would like to note that the following services offered are free of charge: Certificate of Registration, Noise Certificate, Aircraft Radio Station License, Mode S Code Designation, Out-of-Sequence Registration Marks, AFM approval, Airspace approvals (RVSM, MNPS, etc.), AWOPS approvals, Initial Manuals Review and Approval, and After-Hours Requests.
What are the annual costs for aircraft registration? $0 – for your certificate of registration based on MTOW – For your certificate of airworthiness.
What is the average time needed to register an aircraft? The registration can be completed in 24-48 hours after the aircraft has been inspected. However, on average the whole registration process takes about a week.
How much does it cost to register a mortgage? Aruba has two public registers: the Aruban Nationality Register (NR) also known as The Registry of Aruba and the Aruban Register for Registered Aircraft (ARR). The NR is based on the Chicago Convention 1944; the aircraft registered in the NR obtains the Aruban nationality (Aruba is a party since 1947). The registration in the ARR is based on the Geneva Convention 1948, in respect of proprietary rights. Registration in the ARR is optional and is usually only done if and when an Aruban mortgage over the aircraft is to be registered.
To register a right of first mortgage in Aruba, one is obligated by law to use the services of a civil law notary licensed in Aruba. There are only four of these notaries permitted by law. The fees levied by the notaries are based on a pro-millage of the principal value of the mortgage increased by 40%. In addition, there are stamp duty and government fees involved for recordal of the mortgage. These costs are exclusive of legal fees, which include procuring a judicial approval prior to establishing a right of first mortgage. This process typically takes 2–5 weeks.
NOTE: It is noted that a(n) (Aruban law) pledge over aircraft must comply with all the requirements under the Cape Town Convention in order to create an international interest. Therefore all the remedies available under the Cape Town Convention will be available for the financier. If the financier wishes to have an Aruban law security in place as an alternative to the Aruban law mortgage, a pledge over aircraft could be considered. The (legal) costs associated with the creation of a pledge over aircraft could be (significantly) lower compared to an Aruban law mortgage. We note however that under Aruban private international law a pledge over aircraft is perfected in accordance with the law of the state where the aircraft was situated at the time of the creation of the pledge. In most cases the aircraft will not be in Aruba upon the creation of the pledge. In such case it will not be certain that the pledge was perfected under Aruban law. Nonetheless the pledge, complying with the perfection requirements under the Cape Town Convention, will be considered an international interest regardless on whether or not the pledge was correctly created under Aruban law.
Is there a cost to register a priority notice? Not applicable in the case of a right of mortgage.
Does the registry/aviation authority require a notarised/authenticated document to register an aircraft? No.
Financing and de-registration
Is there a requirement for a governing law of mortgage?
A right of first mortgage of Aruba is established under Aruba law. Parties can choose the law that will govern the underlying loan documentation.
What is most common choice of law for financings?
The most common choices of law for aircraft financings are New York and English law. The choice of English law or New York law to govern the transaction documents expressing such choice of law is a valid choice of law and such law would accordingly be applied by the Aruban courts, if any one of those transaction documents or any claim thereunder comes under their jurisdiction upon proper proof of the relevant provisions of such law. Such choice of law would be upheld by the Aruban courts.
Please note that an Aruban mortgage registered and a share pledge over the shares in an Aruban company are governed by Aruban law.
Can financiers file a priority notice of their interests?
According to Article 4, paragraph 2(b) of the Ministerial Regulation on registration and registration reference, it is possible to register all legal acts and notifications that are in any way significant to the legal status of the aircraft in the NR held by the DCA. It is however not clear if such registration will have a third-party effect or whether the registration is merely informational. There are no court precedents on this matter.
Can financiers file a Deregistration Power of Attorney/Irrevocable Deregistration Power of Attorney (IDERA)?
Yes; they can file an IDERA with the DCA of Aruba by submitting form INS. 4.082 (can be found on our website)
Is there a public mortgage registry?
Yes, the ARR (as defined above). Registration of the mortgage in the ARR is a perfection requirement under Aruban law. The ARR is not electronic and only assessable in person during regular government office hours i.e. 07:30am to 11:30 and 13:00 to 16:00.
Furthermore, the Aruban law mortgage constituting an international interest pursuant to the Cape Town Convention may be registered in the International Register, as is the case for other international interests created under Aruban or foreign law.
Is it easy for financiers to perfect a mortgage?
In order to perfect an Aruban law mortgage, such mortgage must be registered in the ARR. The aircraft can only be registered in the ARR if and when (i) it is an Aruban aircraft which is the case once it is registered in the NR, (ii) it has not been registered in a treaty register (Geneva Convention), (iii) a declaration of maximum take-off weight has been issued and (iv) a written declaration is submitted to and approved by the Aruban Court of First Instance stating that the aircraft is suitable for registration in the ARR, accompanied by an extract from the NR and a declaration of maximum take-off weight. The approval by the Aruban court may usually be obtained in one or two days.
The Aruban law mortgage must be executed by a civil law notary in Aruba. The Aruban law mortgage may be drawn up in English, but a Dutch translation thereof must be made for purposes of registration. Aruban law has formal requirements as to the form of the deed. After execution of the Aruban law mortgage by the notary, the notary will present the mortgage for registration with the ARR. The Aruban deed of mortgage must be registered in the registry with the Inspector of Tax in Aruba, which is also done by the notary.
The Aruban law mortgage also constitutes an international interest pursuant to the Cape Town Convention. In order to secure the priority of the international interest the mortgage must be registered as (prospective) international interest with the International Registry.
How long is the period during which a moratorium will be imposed in the event of a lessee or borrower insolvency?
The moratorium is basically a general suspension of payments with respect to non-preferred debts. The moratorium therefore has no effect on secured creditors and preferred creditors. Creditors with claims in respect of alimony and maintenance are not effected by the moratorium. This means that said creditors can exercise their rights despite the moratorium.
In the case of bankruptcy or insolvency are aircraft typically deemed to be part of the lessee’s property?
A suspension of payments can only be granted for a maximum term of 1½ years, but can be extended for successive periods of at the most 1½ years.
Does the registry/aviation authority require a notarised/authenticated document to de-register an aircraft?
No notarised or authenticated document is required to effectuate the de-registration of the Aircraft from The Registry of Aruba.
What are the requirements for deregistration of an aircraft?
The owner of an aircraft is entitled to request the DCA to de-register the aircraft registered in the NR from that register. If the lessor is also the owner of the aircraft, it will be entitled to request the DCA to deregister the aircraft registered in the NR from that register.
Furthermore, deregistration from the NR may be requested by the (legal) person who has registered the aircraft, for instance a lessee of the aircraft.
When the owner or designee applies for de-registration of an aircraft the following has to be sent to the DCA:
- Submit Application form INS. 4.069
- The original Certificate of Airworthiness, Certificate of Registration, Radio Station License and Noise Certificate (to be sent by courier)
- Work order or logbook entry recording that the Aruban registration marks have been removed from the aircraft
- Work order or logbook entry recording that the 24-bit mode S code has been removed from the transponder, ELT or SATCOM as applicable.
Upon de-registration, the DCA will send a confirmation hereof to the State to which the aircraft is being exported.
What are the requirements for deregistration of mortgage?
A duly executed notarial deed of cancellation of the mortgage and recordal of same with the ARR. Prior to this the underlying documentation needs to evidence the will of the parties to terminate the loan agreement and or in any event to release the collateral.
Note: Cancellation of a right of first pledge over the aircraft is effected by a deed of cancellation. This process is simpler and likely less costly.
Cape Town Convention
Has the jurisdiction ratified the Cape Town Convention?
Yes, in 2009. We were the first offshore jurisdiction to ratify the Cape Town Convention.
What date did it come into affect? In 2009.
Which Cape Town declarations have been made?
The Kingdom of the Netherlands made the following declarations pursuant to the Cape Town Convention applicable for Aruba:
Declarations pursuant to Article 56 of the Convention: Pursuant to Article 39 of the Convention, the Kingdom of the Netherlands declares:
A) All categories of non-consensual rights or interests which under Netherlands Antilles and Aruba law have and will in the future have priority over an interest in an object equivalent to that of the holder of a registered international interest shall to that extent have priority over a registered international interest, whether in or outside insolvency proceedings
B) Nothing in the Convention shall affect the rights of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, any intergovernmental organisation in which the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba is a Member State, or other provider of public services in the Netherlands Antilles or in Aruba to arrest or detain an aircraft object under the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba law for payment of amounts owed to such entity, organisation or provider directly relating to the services provided by it in respect of that object or another object.
Pursuant to Article 52, paragraph 1, of the Convention, the Kingdom of the Netherlands declares that the Convention is to apply to the following territorial units: the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.
Pursuant to Article 53 of the Convention, the Kingdom of the Netherlands declares that the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba courts and tribunals with competence by virtue of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba legislation relating to judicial organisation are competent for the purpose of the application of Article 1 and Chapter XII of the Convention.
Pursuant to Article 54, paragraph 2, of the Convention, the Kingdom of the Netherlands declares:
All remedies available to the creditor under the Convention or Protocol which are not expressed under the relevant provision thereof to require application to the court may be exercised, in accordance with the law of the Netherlands Antilles and the law of Aruba, without the leave of the court.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands made the following declarations pursuant to the Protocol applicable for Aruba:
Declarations by the Kingdom of the Netherlands pursuant to Article XXX, paragraph 1, of the Protocol:
A) The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba will apply Article VIII of the Protocol
B) The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba will apply Article XII of the Protocol
C) The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba will apply Article XIII of the Protocol.
Pursuant to Article XXX, paragraph 2, of the Protocol the Kingdom of the Netherlands declares that the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba will apply Article X in its entirety except for paragraph 5, and that the number of working days to be used for the purpose of the time limit laid down in Article X, paragraph 2, shall be in respect of the remedies specified in Article 13, paragraph 1, sub a, b and c, of the Convention (preservation of the aircraft objects and their value; possession, control or custody of the aircraft objects; and immobilisation of the aircraft objects) not more than 10 calendar days and in respect of the remedies specified in Article 13, paragraph 1, sub d and e, of the Convention (lease or management of the aircraft objects and the income thereof and sale and application of proceeds from the aircraft equipment) not more than 30 calendar days.
Pursuant to Article XXIX of the Protocol, the Kingdom of the Netherlands declares that the Protocol is to apply to the following territorial units: the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.
Which insolvency regime has been chosen? See above.
Are buyers eligible for the OECD Aircraft Sector Understanding discount? No.
Importing and exporting aircraft
Are there significant taxes or fees involved in importing an aircraft?
No. Aircraft registered in Aruba will be exempt from taxation or import duties.
Is an Export Certificate of Airworthiness, license of permit required to export an aircraft?
No, an Export Certificate of Airworthiness is not required however it is highly recommended. The DCA may issue an Export Certificate of Airworthiness, only if requested by the operator and only if required by the Importing State.
Nevertheless, an Export CoA cannot be given to any aircraft that came onto the registry without an Export CoA. With the exception of aircraft coming EASA Member States, as they do not require an Export CoA upon import, provided that it has a valid CoA and an airworthiness review certificate (ARC) in place.
How much does it cost to get an Export CoA and how long does it take to get one?
Based on the MTOW of the aircraft as it requires an Export airworthiness inspection and it takes one day to be issued after the inspection is complete.
Are there significant taxes or fees involved in exporting aircraft? No.
Judgements and arbitration
Has there been any recent legislative changes or significant cases that owners or financiers should be aware of? No.
Will a court in this country recognise and enforce a judgement rendered by a New York State Court or a US federal judge?
A final judgment rendered by a court of New York or US federal judge would not automatically be enforceable in Aruba. However, a final judgment obtained in a court of New York or US federal judge and not rendered by default, which is not subject to appeal or other means of contestation and is enforceable in New York or US respectively would generally be upheld and be regarded by an Aruba court of competent jurisdiction as conclusive evidence when asked to render a judgment in accordance with that judgment by a court of New York or US federal judge, without substantive re examination or re litigation of the merits of the subject matter thereof, if that judgment has been rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction, in accordance with the principles of natural justice, its content and enforcement do not conflict with Aruban public policy and it has not been rendered in proceedings of a penal or revenue or other public law nature.
Will a court in your jurisdiction recognise and enforce a judgement rendered by an English court?
A judgment rendered by an English court will be recognised by the Aruban courts and could be enforced in Aruba subject to the provisions of the Convention on Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters of 27 September 1968, as amended.
Can the government of the country requisition or confiscate an aircraft without needing to pay compensation?
In case the aircraft has transported drugs or other illicit materials the designated governmental officials with investigative powers may detain the aircraft (and the illicit goods) for the fines to be recovered therefrom. Furthermore if the aircraft was used as an instrument to commit a criminal offence, the Court, upon request of the prosecutor, may forfeit the aircraft without giving compensation.
Are there any recent cases where the aviation authority/aircraft registry has refused to honour a request by an owner or lessor to deregister an aircraft? No.
Are any legislation or regulatory changes planned?
We have just published in Sept of this year, our lastest revision of our AUA – FCL, AUA-MED, and our AUA – OPS 2 (helicopters).
Aircraft Operating Certificates
Are AoCs encouraged, how long does process take, etc?
The Registry of Aruba welcome aircraft for private, corporate, and commercial operations. AoC are certainly encouraged; if the operator feels that it is the right fit for them and their business, we are happy to assist them so that they can successfully obtain their AoC in Aruba.
As a matter of fact Aruba was the first offshore aircraft jurisdiction to issue an AoC to Comlux Aruba N.V. back in 2012.
What is the process for obtaining an AoC?
Please refer to our AMC 050 for information on how to obtain your AoC in Aruba. Our lastest revision of AMC 050 can be found on our website.
What are the nationality requirements for an AoC?
There are no nationality requirements for the shareholders of the Aruba Corporation.
It is important to note that only legal entities incorporated under the laws of Aruba qualify to submit an AoC application. This means that the carrier/operator to be has to be an Aruba corporation (OpCo).
The shareholders of the OpCo i.e. HoldingCo must be legal entities incorporated under the laws of Aruba.
How long does the process normally take?
Experience has shown that 60 to 90 days is normally required for the AoC application process once the formal application is submitted. However, this time frame can be expedited and elongated dependent on the operator readiness and provided that the ministerial economic authority has been satisfied by the applicant and all the documentation, applications, and manuals submitted to the DCA are satisfactory upon review.
What post or roles need to be based in the country?
In order to comply with the principal place of business (PPoB) requirement the DCA of Aruba will require for the office in Aruba to be permmentantly manned by either a postholder(s) or operations control personnel.
Example costs for specific aircraft type
Survey costs per day: $5,600 (this is a set fee per inspection regardless of how many days the inspection requires).
Approval of overhaul: Travel costs per day - x 2: Depending on location of inspection.
Travel & Subsistence: Depending on location of inspection.
Certificate of Registration: Free of Charge.
Certificate of Airworthiness Renewal: Based on the MTOW of the aircraft.
Noise certificate: Free of charge.
Technical coordinator fee: N/A.
Engineer/mechanic fee for line maintenance: $450 for a two year validation.
Pilot license validation: $450 for a two-year validation for each Pilot