Aircraft Title and Registration

Special FAA Counsel
McAfee & Taft attorneys are frequently called upon to act as special FAA counsel in Oklahoma City to represent parties in various aspects of closing aircraft transactions, including:

  • Examination of FAA records and issuing title memoranda advising the parties as to the status of title, liens and encumbrances at the FAA.
  • Preparing and obtaining “curative” documents to correct any defects in the FAA records.
  • Assisting and advising clients on the structure of a transaction and its compliance with the Federal Transportation Code, including U.S. citizenship issues and aircraft registration (including the use of trust structures to satisfy FAA citizenship requirements).
  • Obtaining advisory opinions from the Aeronautical Center Counsel’s office on a variety of matters, including the effect of a lease on aircraft registration and the uses of owner trusts, voting trusts, business trusts and limited liability companies in aircraft registration.
  • Reviewing documents in the drafting process to ensure the documents comply with the Federal Transportation Code and the practices and procedures of the FAA Registry.
  • Advising clients on aircraft title insurance matters.
  • Acting as escrow agent for the parties to a transaction.
  • Coordinating and conducting the closing of a transaction, including filing all relevant documents with the FAA.
  • Issuing legal opinions as to the recordability of the documents filed at the FAA, the status of aircraft registration, and the status of encumbrances of record at the FAA.

Ownership of Aircraft
Acting as special FAA counsel, we assist clients in analyzing the proposed ownership and registration structure to ensure that the transaction complies with the citizenship and registration requirements of the Federal Transportation Code.  This often involves the use of creative solutions such as owner trust arrangements, voting trusts, synthetic leases and conditional sale contracts.

Import/Export and Registration Issues
Because an aircraft cannot be operated during the period after its deregistration and before its re-registration in the country of import, we are keenly aware of the economic consequences of an unreasonable delay in the deregistration or re-registration of an aircraft.  We possess the expertise and experience needed to keep the transaction moving, minimize delays and resolve any issues as quickly as possible.

Escrow Services
We often act as escrow agent for the parties to a transaction – whether that involves documents, funds or both.  Because of our experience in the industry, we are able to handle a closing efficiently and in a cost-effective way.

Aircraft Title Insurance
McAfee & Taft lawyers played a significant role in drafting the aircraft title insurance policy that is currently in common usage in the industry.  As a result, the firm is in a unique position to provide counsel to owners and lenders in evaluating the considerations in purchasing and negotiating the terms of an aircraft title insurance policy.

Aircraft Title and Registration Team

J.D. Brown


(405) 270-6028

Joel A. Bulleigh


(405) 552-2248

Brian A. Burget


(405) 552-2205

Hannah N. Coker


(405) 552-2313

Maria E. Gonzalez


(405) 552-2358

Amanda R. Landherr


(405) 552-2320

Scott D. McCreary

Shareholder, Practice Group Leader

(405) 552-2367

Michael J. Power Jr.


(405) 552-2336

Erin M. Van Laanen


(405) 552-2208

Emma L. Wilson


(405) 270-6083