Worldwide Aircraft Escrow, Registry, and Title Services

The sale of an aircraft involves multiple parties, a multitude of documents, extensive research on the aircraft and registrations with various government agencies. Insured Aircraft Title Service (IATS) has more than 50 years of experience in efficiently managing bonded escrows in both domestic and international aircraft transactions. Our expertise eliminates frustrations and helps avoid costly mistakes, giving you a streamlined transaction from start to finish.

Worldwide Escrow Services

Since buyers and sellers are frequently separated by extreme time differences, we will strive to make it convenient for you to open and close escrow transactions worldwide on your time schedule. This allows us to eliminate unnecessary delays, resulting in a streamlined, expedited transaction.

International banking may be transacted in the U.S. or through IATS' accounts abroad. In addition to having an exceptionally sound regional banking partner, IATS also maintains multi-currency (including U.S. dollars, euros and sterling) accounts with Bank of America. We also offer ready access for international payments in all currencies via competitive foreign exchange markets.

The Cape Town Treaty and International Registry of Mobile Assets

The Cape Town Treaty and International Registry of Mobile Assets (IR) went into effect on March 1, 2006, and provide a system to establish the priority of interests in airframes, aircraft engines and helicopters, otherwise known as "aircraft objects."

The Cape Town Treaty excludes the registration of an interest in propellers, avionics, and other parts and accessories.

The International Registry of Mobile Assets operates under the legal framework of the Cape Town Treaty, and its role is to electronically record international interests in aircraft objects, for the purpose of establishing the priority of those interests. Priority of the interests is determined on a first-to-file basis.

In order for your transaction to qualify under the Cape Town Treaty, both of the following must apply:

  1. The debtor/buyer must be situated in a contracting state* AND
  2. The equipment must be large enough to qualify as an "aircraft object" under the Cape Town Treaty.

An "aircraft object" as defined by the Cape Town Treaty must fit into at least one of the following four categories:

  1. An aircraft that is type certificated to transport at least eight (8) persons including crew or goods in excess of 2,750 kilograms (6,050 pounds)
  2. A helicopter that is type certificated to transport at least five (5) persons including crew or goods in excess of 450 kilograms (990 pounds)
  3. A jet propulsion aircraft engine with at least 1,750 pounds of thrust or its equivalent
  4. A turbine-powered or piston-powered aircraft engine with at least 550 rated takeoff horsepower or its equivalent

The Cape Town Treaty will apply whether the transaction is domestic or international. Until the international interest is registered, your lien will not be perfected. Once you have determined that your transaction meets the requirements under the Cape Town Treaty, IATS will be able to assist you in registering the international interest.

*The IR website has a Contracting State search that features which states have ratified the Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol and allows parties to view the declarations and designations of the respective Contracting State or States.

International Registry Administration Service

Parties that seek to register as a Transacting User Entity (TUE) with the IR can elect to use our International Registry Administrator Service. We will establish the entity as a user on the International Registry through the acquisition of a user license and act as the entity's Administrator. This service allows our office to grant or deny registrations and authorizations approved by the entity for an unlimited number of transactions for as long as the user license is current and valid.

This service is invaluable to parties that may not be at a location that allows them to log on to the International Registry website when closings occur in order for international interests to be registered on a priority basis.

Document Filing

IATS provides assistance to parties that seek to file documents with the FAA in order to transfer a title to an aircraft or clear a title of liens or encumbrances. Our team of documentation specialists will review the documents to determine if they meet FAA requirements and file the documents with the FAA on behalf of the parties involved in the transaction. Upon request, IATS can conduct a title report after the recordation of the documents with the FAA.

Special N-Number Reservation and Assignment

Aircraft owners have the option of changing the registration number on their aircraft to a number that has some special significance. By utilizing IATS to file the necessary requests with the FAA to change their registration number, owners can be assured that the process will be completed in an efficient and smooth manner without any unnecessary delays or risk of losing a special number.

Title Clearing

In our experience, as many as 20 to 30 percent of aircraft title titles are clouded in one way or another. As an example, when engines are replaced during routine maintenance, after a period of time the replacement engines can be subject to liens from different lenders. Four engines on an aircraft can each have a different mortgage with a different lender. In some instances, a lien can be against the engine and not the airframe.
When a title turns out to be clouded, the IATS Research Department assists clients in locating the parties involved and will help acquire the documents needed to remove the cloud in the aircraft title.

FAA Title Report and International Registry Priority Search

IATS can conduct a complete search of FAA records and identify and interpret all prior titles, adverse interests, liens and claims. Separate searches are also conducted for the airframes and engines on all prop-driven aircraft with engines over 550 SHP and on all jet aircraft with engines producing 1,750 pounds of thrust each, in accordance with FAA recordation procedures.
International Registry Priority Searches can be conducted on airframes, aircraft engines and helicopters that meet the size requirements of the Cape Town Treaty. These searches provide details of the registrations made against the aircraft and the order of their priority. It is important that FAA and International Registry Searches are completed in order to provide parties of a transaction a complete view of all outstanding liens and interests.