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International protocol now affects U.S. sales of larger aircraftInternational protocol now affects U.S. sales of larger aircraft

International protocol now affects U.S. sales of larger aircraft

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Buying or selling an aircraft? Getting a new loan on your aircraft? Starting March 1, you'll have to comply with a new international treaty if that aircraft is certificated for eight or more seats (five if it's a helicopter), or an engine producing 550 or more horsepower (1,750 pounds thrust for a jet).

The Aircraft Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment requires recording any changes in financial interests in an "aircraft object" through the International Registry (IR) - even if the sale is domestic. The United States is a signatory to this agreement, which means any change in the interest in either the aircraft or the engine must be registered in the IR international database in Dublin, Ireland. For U.S. owners of larger aircraft, it means filing another form - FAA Entry Point Filing Form, International Registry, AC Form 8050-135 - with the FAA Civil Aircraft Registry when ownership or financial interests change.

The FAA assigns a unique authorization code to the form, and a pre-approved professional title service must be used to submit the information to the IR. ( AOPA Aircraft Title and Escrow Services is one company authorized to handle the transaction.)

But just because you own a smaller aircraft doesn't mean you're off the registration hook. A different regulation has already caused some confusion for AOPA members. FAA requires that every U.S. aircraft owner ensure that the FAA has accurate registration information. A new regulation gave owners a February 1, 2006, deadline to make sure their registration information was accurate, or face the possibility of citations or being denied access to the National Airspace System.

Updated: February 23, 2006, 5 p.m. EST

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