HeliValue$’ president, Sharon Desfor, is a member of HAI’s Finance and Leasing Committee, whose last meeting spent considerable time discussing the new problem of expired FAA registrations. The research shows over 31,000 aircraft on the FAA registry with expired registrations / pending cancellations. Over 6,200 aircraft, some 300 of them helicopters, have already-cancelled registrations. If any of those aircraft is in active use, it is illegal to fly them until they have been re-registered. Every single flight on a cancelled registration carries a $10,000 fine. And that’s the point. Under previous rules, aircraft registrations did not expire, and over the years, paperwork had not kept up with ownership transfers, so that the FAA no longer knew with any certainty who owned which aircraft.
As far as lenders and lessors are concerned, the important news is that aircraft security interests may be affected. Owners, operators, and financiers should implement procedures to assure that the aircraft is registered and re-registered on a timely basis. Although security interests on aircraft covered by International Registry (Cape Town) registrations are expected to remain perfected, non-Cape Town equipment is not specifically addressed. Certainly UCC filings should still be filed to protect security interests.
More information about the re-registration process, including a calendar for determining when your paperwork is due, is available on the FAA website. The list of expired registrations is available at http://registry.faa.gov/AircraftRenewal_reports/PendingCancel_Results.aspx?Sort_Option=1&Sort_Direction=1&PageNo=1,and cancelled N-numbers are listed on http://registry.faa.gov/AircraftRenewal_reports/CanceledReg_Results.aspx?Sort_Option=1&Sort_Direction=1&PageNo=1
The recent HAI RotorNews alert on this topic can be found at http://www.rotor.com/Publications/RotorNewssupregsup.aspx.