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Aircraft Registration in Malta

Aircraft Registration in Malta

Malta’s geographical position makes the country an important maritime and aviation hub within the European Union. The country is currently underway of maximizing its transport capacity and, among the most important achievements, is transforming the Maltese Ship Registry into one of the largest in the world. The Government has also started to focus on the aviation industry and amended the Maltese Aviation Law in order to welcome foreign aircraft operators.

Who is allowed to register an aircraft in Malta?

The Maltese Aviation Law allows the registration of aircraft for both private and commercial use by any of the following:

  • – owners of aircraft,
  • – owner of an aircraft under construction,
  • – operators of aircraft under temporary titles,
  • – buyers of aircraft authorized to operate the aircraft.

The law establishes that a Maltese citizen or other person from EU is allowed to operate an aircraft. The same law applies to foreign or Maltese companies and to the Government. In order to register an aircraft in Malta, one must obtain an air operator’s certificate (AOC).

Obtaining an air operator’s certificate in Malta

Maltese air operators’ certificates are issued according to Annex III of the Regulation (EC) 3922/1991 and are divided into EU-OPS for airplanes and JAR-OPS 3 for helicopters. An air operator’s certificate is issued within three months in Malta. Applicants must respect the following rules when applying for an AOC in Malta:

  • – may not have obtained an AOC previously,
  • – must ensure a safe conduct.

Foreign companies owning aircrafts and wanting to operate in Malta must have a registered office in the country that first issued the air operator’s certificate. The holders of AOCs must also have an air operating license.

The advantages of aircraft registration in Malta

Aircraft operators have multiple benefits in Malta. Certain benefits refer to the registration of aircraft within the country, while others refer to fiscal benefits. Among these are:

  • – transparency when it comes to the rights and interests in the aircraft,
  • – one may register an aircraft for private or commercial use,
  • – no withholding taxes on lease payments for foreign lessors,
  • – tax refunds to shareholders of Maltese aviation companies.

For more information about aircraft registration, please contact our lawyers in Malta.