During 2009 the European Union (EU) became the first economic block to ratify the Cape Town Convention and Protocol. As you may recall, the Convention applies to a transaction involving (1) aircraft that are type certified to transport at least 8 persons including crew or to transport goods in excess of 2750 kilos, engines that are rated at least 550 hp or 1750 pounds of thrust, and helicopters that are type certified to transport at least 5 persons including crew or to transport goods in excess of 450 kilos; and (2) a. For aircraft: If the Aircraft is registered in a contracting state (a country that has ratified Cape Town) or the debtor is “situated” in a Contracting State at the time of the “conclusion” of the relevant agreements or if the Aircraft is not registered in a Contracting State but as part of the relevant transaction there is an agreement to register the aircraft in a Contracting State or b. For engines: If the debtor is “situated” in a Contracting State at the time of the “conclusion” of the relevant agreements.
So far, 31 countries have ratified the Convention and Protocol. With the EU ratification, it is expected that many of the EU member states will also ratify the Convention. Currently, only Ireland and Luxembourg, both EU member states, have ratified the Convention and Protocol.
Of additional interest, the commission of experts (“CESAIR”) which advises the International Civil Aviation Organization (“ICAO”) has been reappointed and extended. CESAIR provides expert advice and recommendations on Regulation changes and other matters which come before ICAO regarding the efficient operation of the International Registry.The following countries are represented: Canada, China, France, Ireland, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, Switzerland, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United States. Curiously, several of the CESAIR members are EU members who have not yet ratified the Convention and Protocol, although perhaps that will now change with the European Union ratification.