The Aircraft Registration Act, Chapter 503 of the Laws of Malta (the “Act”) and the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure, Chapter 12 of the Laws of Malta (the “COCP”) have been amended by virtue of Act No. XXXVII of 2021 (the “Amending Act”). The Amending Act brings about changes to various laws pertaining to aircraft registration.
The Amending Act introduces rules pertaining to the appointment of a “Certified Designee” (CD) under an irrevocable de-registration and export request authorisation (IDERA). Whilst the Act previously allowed for the appointment of a CD, and in fact, CDs are appointed in practise, the Amending Act adds further clarity to their use and appointment.
A CD is defined as “any party designated as a certified designee by the named authorised party” under an IDERA.
Malta Aircraft Register
The Director General of the Civil Aviation Directorate (the “DG”) is now also required to record on the Malta Aircraft Register the email address and telephone number of the registrant of an aircraft. The DG is also required to record the full name, address, email address and telephone number of the owner of an aircraft. The DG is required to record the details of any IDERAs, powers of attorney (“POAs”) and CDs granted to an owner, lessor, mortgagee or third party in respect of an aircraft. The details of any international interests registered on the aircraft in the International Registry in terms of the Cape Town Convention would also need to be recorded. Whilst these are new additions to the Act, the DG has in practise been recording much of this information on the Malta Aircraft Register for some time.
The Amending Act introduces changes to the registration of IDERAs and POAs. The Amending Act provides that only one IDERA or only one POA may be recorded in the register and such IDERA or POA shall only be issued by the registrant of the aircraft. Any IDERAs and POAs issued by any person other than the registrant, and recorded in the register prior to the coming force of the Amending Act shall remain in full force and effect.
Rules applicable to IDERAs
The Amending Act introduces a Second Schedule to the Act, which outlines various procedures and forms applicable to the recording and cancelling of an IDERA and a CD, and de-registering aircraft and exporting aircraft objects under an IDERA. Whilst the Act had already catered for many of these procedures, the Amending Act brings about further clarity and detail to the rules applicable to IDERAs.
The Amending Act introduces a definition of unmanned aircraft as “any aircraft operating or designed to operate autonomously or to be piloted remotely without a pilot on board”.
Warrant of Ejectment or Expulsion from Seagoing Vessels or Aircraft
The Amending Act introduces provisions in the COCP, in addition to the long-standing provisions pertaining to warrants of arrest, allowing for a warrant to be filed to eject or expel an operator, lessee or other occupant, including members of staff, from a seagoing vessel or aircraft.
This document does not purport to give legal, financial or tax advice. Should you require further information or legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Nicholas Valenzia, Dr Ingrid Fenech and Dr Joshua Chircop