Slow times at the aircraft registry

published in Business Jet Traveler | January 2023

Prior to the start of the COVID pandemic, examiners at the Federal Aviation Registry’s Civil Aviation Registry would routinely process aircraft registration filings in 6 – 8 weeks’ time.  In the meantime, the buyers were permitted to legally fly their new aircraft in the United States for a period of up to 90 days by placing a signed copy of their pending Aircraft Registration Application (AC Form 8050-1) in their aircraft.

In a Business Jet Traveler article titled “Slow times at the Aircraft Registry,” McAfee & Taft aviation attorney Scott McCreary was interviewed about the toll that the pandemic has taken on processing times at the FAA Civil Aviation Registry, both for aircraft registration applications and for applications to extend temporary registrations.  Despite the fact that the FAA has hired additional examiners, he reported that the backlog is such that buyers today should expect to wait roughly six months for their applications to be reviewed and processed.

According to McCreary, the FAA Aviation Registry is also behind in processing Declarations of International Operations.  Whereas the Registry used to issue such declarations either the same day or next business day, those requests for expediting the registration for a specific international flight are now typically taking three days – sometimes longer – to process.