BERMUDA CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY - Thomas Dunstan, BCAA Director General

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Established in 1931, the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) is responsible for the regulation and safety oversight of aviation in the UK Overseas Territory of Bermuda and all aircraft on the Bermuda Aircraft Registry. Previously known as the Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation, the BCAA became a newly formed Authority on October 1, 2016. Although it is regulated by the UK Department for Transport, the safety oversight system is separate from that of the UK and is based on the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The registry, which offers both private and commercial aircraft operation under Article 83 bis Agreement, is now more competitive and valuable than ever before.

What are the benefits of registering an aircraft with the BCAA?

  • Asset protection through both Cape Town and Mortgage Register;
  • ICAO based safety oversight system;
  • Tax neutrality;
  • Category 1 Aviation Regulatory Authority by the US Federal Aviation Administration; and
  • Reputation internationally for offering high regulatory standards and excellent service levels.

Does Bermuda require owners of Bermuda registered aircraft to have a domicile representative or to establish a company in Bermuda?  

Bermuda no longer has requirements for owners to have a domicile representative (company) in Bermuda.  Citizens or companies incorporated in UK/Overseas Territories/Crown Dependencies, Commonwealth or European Economic Area qualify to register an aircraft in Bermuda.  Companies or their representatives are welcome to deal directly with BCAA to register an aircraft. (http://www.bcaa.bm/how-register). 

What is the significance of a mortgage registry?

Effective 1st January 2018, the Cape Town Convention and the related Protocol (Convention) came into force for aircraft on the Bermuda Registry. The Convention enables interested parties to protect and recover their mobile assets with greater certainty and ease by creating an international registry. This provides assurance to lenders, leasing companies and operators that their asset is protected.

Prior to Cape Town, Bermuda had in place an Aircraft and Engine Mortgage register which will be retained as another mechanism for protection and recovery of assets. 

Does BCAA have designated inspectors that oversee the APAC region?

The BCAA UK office has recently been relocated from London to the main terminal building at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire. In addition to our new location, BCAA has engaged additional Airworthiness Inspectors who can provide excellent response times to our clients in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. We are also now offering the added benefit of short notice aircraft inspections and Certificate of Airworthiness issuance during a turnaround or layover at Farnborough. BCAA is also in process of hiring an airworthiness inspector and establishing an office in Asia.

For more information, contact BCAA directly: http://www.bcaa.bm/contact-us

How many aircraft are currently registered under BCAA?

Bermuda’s Aircraft Registry is extensive and ranks 10th in size when compared to the 192 International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Member States. The current Registry of over 835 aircraft includes a mix of both private and commercial aircraft operated under an ICAO Article 83 bis Agreement.

How does BCAA’s structure benefit Asia-Pacific owners?

Owners in this region prefer Bermuda as a choice of registration as the registry complies with the highest international standards while offering flexibility and a distinct focus on the level of service and support.

In particular, to satisfy the growing demand of aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region, the Registry is strategically locating inspectors in Asia to allow us to provide even better response times to our clients in the region.

Also, the tax benefits offered to owners and the unique registration mark (VP-B and VQ-B with two subsequent letters) is a neutral low-profile mark, useful if the aircraft is to be operated in less stable regions of the world or if the owner is looking for some discreteness to their operations.

How is BCAA developing as a registry to meet the growing demand of the business aviation industry?

BCAA is currently introducing an online payment capability, streamlining our invoicing system and reviewing / amending our regulatory processes. The Registry is also upgrading our current digital and electronic documentation system. All of these changes are being implemented to enable us to be more efficient, thus enhancing our customer service and to meet growing demand.