Aruba has two public registers: the Aruban Nationality Register (“Nationality Register“) and a public register for the registration of aircraft (openbaar register voor teboekgestelling van luchtvaartuigen), which is a so called ‘title register’ (“Title Register“).
The Nationality Register is promulgated pursuant to the Chicago Convention 1944. An aircraft registered in the Nationality Register obtains the Aruban nationality, with a P4 registration mark. The Nationality Register is kept by the Department of Civil Aviation Aruba. The Title Register has been created pursuant to the Geneva Convention 1948 (the “Geneva Convention“), in which proprietary rights on aircraft may be registered (e.g. right of mortgage). The Title Register is kept by the Land and Mortgage Registry of Aruba.
An aircraft of the Aruban Nationality and an Aruban mortgage on aircraft (constituting an international interest pursuant to the Cape Town Convention) may also be registered in the International Registry. The International Registry is based in Ireland, which operates under the legal framework of the Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol. International interests are recognised by all ratifying jurisdictions, with earlier registered interest ranking in priority over subsequent registered interest.
An aircraft can only be registered in the Nationality Register, if (i) the owner of the aircraft is a resident of Aruba or has its corporate seat in Aruba, (ii) the aircraft is owned by a legal entity on which the laws of the following counties are applicable: European Union and certain territories and associated Countries, Switzerland, Canada, the United States of America or a country mentioned in Annex to Ministerial Decree A.B. 2014, No 15, provided the aforementioned legal entities are continuously represented by a natural person or legal entity in Aruba, or (iii) if the aircraft has been leased to a legal entity mentioned under (i) and (ii) above, in which case the obligations imposed on an owner of an aircraft shall be fulfilled by the lessee of such aircraft.
The aircraft intended to be registered in the Nationality Register by the owner or holder, must be eligible for registration. Click here for aircraft that are not eligible for registration. The aircraft must also be home-based in a country accepted by the Department of Civil Aviation Aruba. Registration is furthermore subject to satisfactory airworthiness assessment by inspectors of the Department of Civil Aviation Aruba.
After the aircraft has been registered in the Nationality Register, the owner of the aircraft may opt to register the aircraft and proprietary rights (e.g. Aruban law mortgage) in the Title Register, after permission has been obtained from the Court of First Instance of Aruba. The petition to obtain such permission must inter alia include (a) Certificate of Registration issued by the Department of Civil Aviation Aruba, (b) a declaration of maximum take-off and (c) a proof that the aircraft has not been registered in a treaty register (Geneva Convention). The permission by the Aruban court is usually obtained in one or two days.
An Aruban law mortgage may be registered in the Title Register, once the aircraft has been registered in that register.