How do you Register an Aircraft in India?

The Owner or Operator is required to apply for registration of the aircraft under form CA-28.[1] The details required and incorporated on the Certificate of Registration are:

·         Name and address of aircraft manufacturer;

·         Type and model of aircraft;

·         MSN;

·         Year of manufacture;

·         Seating capacity;

·         Maximum certificated take off mass;

·         Engine – type, power rating, number of engines;

·         Particulars of owner (s) – name, address, nationality;

·         Particulars of lessor (s) – name, address, nationality;

·         Particulars of lessee – name, address, nationality, principal place of business;

·         Details regarding ownership;

·         Details of whether the aircraft has been mortgaged / hypothecated;

·         Name of mortgagor / hypothecator;

·         Address and nationality of mortgagor / hypothecator.

In addition to the completed application Form CA-28 the application must be accompanied by:

(i)                 Customs clearance certificate / bill of entry of the aircraft.

(ii)               Certificate of de-registration from the previous registering authority.

(iii)             Evidence to the effect that the aircraft has been purchased or wholly owned by the applicant. (Note: Copy of invoice is accepted for this purpose).

(iv)              In case of aircraft purchased from a previous owner, then an affidavit to that effect is required.

(v)                In case aircraft is taken on a dry lease, then a copy of the lease agreement is to be annexed. (Note: In our experience, a notarised copy stating the copy of the lease agreement to be true and correct shall suffice).

(vi)              In case the aircraft is owned by a Company or Corporation, then a document of registration of the Company and the names, addresses and nationalities of the Directors.

(vii)            A copy of the import license issued by the Director General Foreign Trade or permission for import of aircraft issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation / DGCA.

(viii)          In cases where the aircraft has been mortgaged / hypothecated, the owner / operator shall submit his consent for the same and the papers to this effect. (Note: Such a mortgage / hypothecation shall be endorsed on the Certificate of Registration).

(ix)              Fee for registration as prescribed.

The Indian Aircraft Register is essentially an Operator as well as an Owner registry. The Owner can apply for registration itself or through an agent (or local counsel) however, usually the Operator is responsible for registering the aircraft.

Further, an aircraft can be registered in India where the aircraft is wholly owned either[2]:

(i)                 by citizens of India; or

(ii)               by a company or corporation registered and having its principal place of business within India and the Chairman and at least two-thirds of the Directors of which are Citizens of India; or

(iii)             by the Central Government of any State Government or any Company or Corporation owned or controlled by either of the said Governments[3].

(iv)              By a company or corporation registered elsewhere than in India, provided that such company or corporation has given the said aircraft on lease to any person mentioned in (i), (ii) or (iii) above.

The details that shall be contained in the Certificate of Registration and the Aircraft Register shall be:

(i)                 Type of Aircraft;

(ii)               MSN / CN;

(iii)             Year of Manufacture;

(iv)              Nationality and Registration Marks;

(v)                Full name, nationality and address of the Owner / Lessor;

(vi)              Full name, nationality and address of the Lessee;

(vii)            Usual station of the aircraft;

(viii)          The date of registration;

(ix)              Period of registration;

(x)                Name of mortgagee / hypothecator[4].

Practically, since the DGCA records the length of the lease agreement and the same is endorsed on the Certificate of Registration, therefore, on the date of expiry thereof; the Aircraft would be automatically de-registered. Therefore, sufficient time should be allowed to complete all re-delivery formalities so as to avoid a situation where the lease agreement has expired and the aircraft has still not been re-delivered. In such a situation, it has been our experience that a lease extension agreement may be entered into and immediately notified to the DGCA who would record the same in their records and extend the Certificate of Registration accordingly.

[1]CAR Series “F” Part 1 Section 2 – Airworthiness

[2]CAR Series “F” Part 1 Section 2 – Airworthiness Revision 7, 27th April 2015

[3]Rule 30 (2) of the Aircraft Rules

[4] CAR Series “F” Part 1 Section 2 – Airworthiness Revision 7, 27th April 2015

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