News

McAfee & Taft Aviation Group to participate in FAA public meeting on Non-Citizen Owner Trusts

May 10, 2011

Attorneys from the McAfee & Taft Aviation Group will be participating in a public meeting hosted by the Federal Aviation Administration to discuss the U.S. registration of aircraft in the name of owner trustees. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9am on Wednesday, June 1, 2011, at the Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.

FAA officials are seeking views from the public regarding the use of owner trusts to register aircraft for the benefit of beneficiaries that are neither U.S. citizens nor resident aliens. Specifically, the FAA is soliciting input on how a trust can be structured and implemented for purposes of aircraft registrations that satisfy statutory and regulatory requirements regarding ownership and U.S. citizenship.

McAfee & Taft attorneys will be participating in the discussion, which is designed to elicit feedback to the following questions:

  • What are the appropriate obligations to impose on a trustee of a trust with beneficiaries that are neither U.S. citizens nor resident aliens in order to satisfy the statute and regulations?
  • In the case of a trust with beneficiaries that are neither U.S. citizens nor resident aliens, which rights and actions must be prohibited on the part of the beneficiaries in order to satisfy the statute and regulations?
  • Which forms of granting possession, use or operational control of an aircraft by a trustee to its beneficiaries that are not U.S. citizens or resident aliens are permitted and which are prohibited under the statute and regulations?
  • What are the specific elements of “the trustee’s authority” (14 CFR 47.7(c)(iii)) about which the FAA should be concerned, and what are the forms of influence or limitation that the FAA should proscribe?
  • How may a beneficiary that is not a U.S. citizen or resident alien participate in the decision to remove a trustee in accordance with the statute and regulations?
  • To what extent, if any, are the FAA interpretations cited above in need of amendment?
  • Which, if any, knowledge and information requirements (e.g., address of operator, location of maintenance records, principal hangar location) are appropriate for the FAA to impose on trustees of trusts beneficiaries that are not U.S. citizens or resident aliens?

Following the conclusion of the meeting, McAfee & Taft, in conjunction with the Oklahoma City Aircraft Community, will be hosting a reception for meeting attendees at a downtown venue.