Understanding changes to duration for aircraft registries

published in NBAA | January 30, 2023

On January 23, 2023, the FAA’s final rule to increase the duration of aircraft registration from three to seven years went into effect.  McAfee & Taft aviation attorney Scott McCreary, who also chairs the NBAA’s Regulatory Issues Advisory Committee, was interviewed for an article by the NBAA on what this change means for aircraft owners and operators.

“The direct final rule is an excellent solution by the FAA to address the aircraft registry backlog problem,” said McCreary.  “It will reduce the churning of the documents that was required before to renew aircraft registrations on a more frequent basis.”

The FAA is currently in the process of issuing new registration certificates to those impacted by the new rule, beginning with those whose registrations are set to expire first.  Owners of aircraft whose registrations were originally set to expire before June 30, 2023, should expect to receive their new registration documents by the end of March 2023.

The new rule also extends the authority to temporarily operate an aircraft within the United States from 90 days to 12 months, provided that a copy of the Aircraft Registration Application Form 8050-1 is placed in the aircraft.  Despite this extension, McCreary advised owners to be diligent in making sure that all their documents are in order at the time of initial filing.

“If those documents are reviewed and rejected after five or six months and a second attempt is unsatisfactory, the aircraft registration might not be complete within 12 months and the aircraft would be grounded,” he said.  “It is still important to complete your due diligence and file documents that are recordable the first time.”