Jersey's ill-fated aircraft registry finally closes

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JERSEY’S ill-fated aircraft registry – which ended up with just one plane on its books – has finally been closed.

The registry launched in 2015 with hopes of attracting a wealth of aircraft.

But just four – three planes and a helicopter – were registered over the seven years and by last month it had just a solitary Cessna to its name.

That aircraft, too, has now departed and Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel has concluded that the registry should close.

The decision has no impact on commercial flight connections, and will not affect private pilots.

The government spent £860,000 setting up the registry and in the first year of its life cost a further £66,000, including marketing and insurance costs.

It has incurred annual costs ever since, mainly in the form of officer time and insurance.

According to a response to a freedom of information request, it made £11,789 in fees in 2016. A separate FoI request stated that it made no income in 2018 and 2019. Data for any income generated after 2020 was not included in the government’s response, as by that time the registry had been transferred to Ports of Jersey.

Deputy Morel said: ‘My decision has been based on JAR’s commercial underperformance, which does not represent value for Jersey taxpayers, and because additional investment would be needed to enhance its regulatory compliance, if it were to continue.

‘I am grateful to those clients who have supported the registry during its operation, and would underline that this decision will have no impact on Jersey’s numerous and diverse flight connections and services.’

A review highlighted that significant additional resource would be needed for the registry to meet international regulatory requirements.

Deputy Morel added: ‘Jersey’s regulatory compliance requirements would be the same whether one or 1,000 aircraft were registered, and closing the JAR removes the need for those resources.

‘It is important to note that these resource needs relate only to the aircraft registry – the wider picture on Jersey’s aviation regulatory landscape – for example, air traffic services and aerodromes – is exemplary.

‘Aviation and connectivity will continue to be of fundamental importance to Jersey’s community, and I would support opportunities for the sector to develop in a way that benefits Jersey’s economy.

‘I have committed to supporting a high performing, environmentally sustainable, and technologically advanced economy which has robust transport and digital connectivity. As with all other sectors, the government’s approach to aviation will be driven by these principles.’

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