INTERNATIONAL AVIATION REGULATORY SUPPORT - Andrew Svoboda, President & CEO; Agent for Service
For nearly 20 years, Agent for Service (AFS) has worked with clients throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, the US, Africa, and the Middle East providing a wide-range of aircraft regulatory support. Years of experience in the industry has led President & CEO Andrew Svoboda to consistently deliver his clients with expert advice and resources during all stages of an aircraft sale, acquisition and ownership.
AFS offers its clients with regulatory support services including:
o FAA Aircraft Letters of Authorization (LOA)
o IS-BAO Audit Service
o Designated Airworthiness Representatives (DAR) for Issuing Certificates of Airworthiness
o Aircraft Registration Services
o International Employee Background and Record Checks
o Technical Manuals Publication Services
o Safety Auditing & Consulting
o Commercial and Private Certifications Assistance
How do these services benefit your clients?
AFS leverages our extensive knowledge and experience in the industry to expedite the time required for operators and clients to achieve the necessary regulatory support. This comes in the form of the following:
o Fast turnaround time and approval for Letter of Authorization (LOA) applications;
o Successfully meeting audit standards and ensuring full compliance for ISBAO Audit Stage I, II, or III requirements;
o Aircraft acquisition and ownership planning for tax and confidentiality efficiencies;
o Finding the best financing source for aircraft purchases;
o Technical electronic manual systems that are efficient and compliant;
o Finding the most suitable aircraft registration for a client’s needs; and
o Full-range of safety and operational audit support.
What services are most utilized within Asia?
Asia is becoming a powerhouse in aviation. In effect, the demand for aviation services is also experiencing an exponential growth. FAA LOAs, ISBAO Audits, and registration assistance remain the most necessary in Asia.
AFS leads the industry when it comes to this type of support. We developed a streamlined process in assisting operators in cutting down paperwork and lead time. These functions and applications are manpower-intensive and cumbersome for operators. This is where the expertise of AFS comes in.
AFS assists with aircraft registration. What factors will determine the most suitable registry?
o Safety: The registry should have the highest regulatory standards.
o Intended use of aircraft: Will it be private, chartered or corporate use?
o Maintenance Considerations: Aircraft should have maintenance accessibility which includes mechanics who have the authority to perform work and sign off paperwork that are qualified according to the registry.
o Tax Benefits: This can vary depending on the country of registry.
o Resale Value: If your aircraft is under a registry which enables ease of resale and holds value.
o Confidentiality: Most aircraft owners are concerned about privacy, so advising them on ownership structures and registries that maximize their confidentiality is essential.
Are there any regulatory changes the industry should be aware of?
The FAA is changing the process for Part 91 operators to obtain 91 LOA’s. As with all changes in government processes, it will take time for the process to become smoothly handled within the FAA. AFS is involved in committees and groups to ensure that we are aware of the changes and staying ahead of the curve on application processing.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) has always had two methods for 125 Operator SMS approval. One is the direct approval from the CAACI and the other is ISBAO approval, which is accepted as equivalent compliance. Recently, many operators prefer seeking direct approval to waiting for the time it takes to process an ISBAO approval. As such, the CAACI is putting forth significant efforts to provide direct approvals which are more custom-tailored to each operator. This also results in a reduced cost point for operators. The CAACI is in the process of implementing a new software in their oversight that will make the process more user-friendly and direct with the Cayman Authorities. More information from the CAACI can be expected later this year.
For Aircraft owners who use trust to protect their aviation and other assets, we have a Trust Advisement process to help them determine the location that will be most beneficial and protective to discuss their ownership.
Does current political climate affect regulatory matters?
The political landscape has a great impact on aircraft regulatory matters. Take for instance, Brexit. Once Brexit occurs, we have a new US-UK Air Transport Agreement ready to kick in as soon as the US-EU Air Transport Agreement ceases to apply to the UK. The new US-UK Air Transport Agreement will also cover the British Overseas Territories. We do not anticipate any major disruptions for UK carriers. However, UK airlines will likely have to cease any services between points in the EU and points in third countries. For example: a UK airline scheduled flight from Paris to New York is now a 3rd-freedom scheduled operation. After Brexit, that same service will become a 7th-freedom scheduled operation, and not permitted by the new Air Transport Agreement.In the case of China-US trade wars, Boeing is certainly a key player. China represents 1/5 of its business as its largest customer in Asia. In late 2017, China and Boeing signed a deal of 300 aircraft orders. One of the largest concerns is that if the trade war continues China might change its position on the orders. This would have a significant impact on Boeing.
What can the industry expect from AFS in coming years?
AFS expanded locations in the US this past year to include four new regional locations. Also, in addition to selecting new international locations in both Asia and Europe, here’s what the industry can expect from us:
o AFS has acquired the domestic US company FlyCerts to cover the domestic US market.
o AFS has added additional ISBAO Auditors to our aviation industry professionals to support the large demand in the Asia-Pacific region.
o We are also very excited to announce that we now offer FAA-Qualified Designated Airworthiness Representative for handling Certificates of Airworthiness.