top of page

Official Guide to Aircraft Registration 2020 - Country data - Panama

[This article originally appeared in Corporate Jet Investor‘s “The Office Guide to Aircraft Registration 2019″]

Registry: Panama Prefix: HP Location: Central America

Country status: Republic


Aircraft which may be registered in Panama include:

(a) aircraft owned by the government of Panama;

(b) aircraft involved in public transportation or carrying out remunerated aircraft operations which are owned or operated by Panamanian nationals, be they natural or juridical persons, legally authorised to operate; and

(c) aircraft involved in private operations which are owned or operated in Panama by Panamanian nationals or foreigners, be they natural or juridical persons.

There are two systems of aircraft registration in the Republic of Panama. The Civil Aeronautics Authority (Autoridad Aeronáutica Civil) maintains an administrative registry of aircraft in Panama by means of the National Aeronautical Registry. In addition, there is an aeronautical section at the Public Registry Office, wherein all matters concerning the juridical status of aircraft are registered; namely proof of ownership, leases and encumbrances on aircraft etc to make them effective against third parties

Weight restrictions: Weight restrictions will depend on the aircraft capacity, fuel, flight Maximum age: Maximum age requirements are not specifically addressed. Proper maintenance is required Aircraft Type Certificate: Certificates such as those of the United States and European Union are recognised Typical structure: Not specifically addressed in our regulations


Private use: Private registration and use of aircraft is allowed, subject to obtaining the required operation certificates and permits from the Civil Aeronautics Authority

Commercial air transport: Commercial air transport has nationality restrictions in terms of company ownership. A commercial exploitation permit for public air transport, issued by the Civil Aeronautics Authority, is required, as well as an operation certificate.


Mortgage possible? Law No.21 of 2003 expressly contemplates the possibility of granting a mortgage over an aircraft as a whole or covering parts only its spare parts, and the Law on Mortgages on Movable Goods further allows the sale thereof with retention of title. Mortgages in respect of aircraft must be registered in the Aeronautical section of the Public Registry Office. Restriction Governing Mortgage law: There are no limits to the types of obligations that may be secured so long as these are lawful obligations, nor as to who may be a mortgagee Priority notice: According to the Aeronautical Law, a credit secured by an aircraft mortgage will have priority over any other credit except for the national taxes that fall upon an aircraft.

Nonetheless, Panama has acceded to the 1948 Geneva Convention on International Recognition of Rights in Aircraft. This Convention imposes as compulsory liens the following: (a) Indemnification for assistance to, or salvage of, the aircraft. (b) Other expenses which are indispensable for the conservation of the aircraft.

These liens have priority over all other liens or credits, including the aircraft mortgage.

Bearing in mind that ACC has the obligation to respect all international treaties and agreements to which Panama has acceded to, this clearly creates a conflict of laws which will have to be resolved by the Panamanian Judicial Branch once a case of this nature is presented.

Public registration: A mortgage on an aircraft must be granted by public instrument in the Spanish language whenever the obligations secured are in excess of B./20,000.00 and must be registered at the Public Registry Office to affect third parties. Aircraft mortgages can also be filed at the National Aeronautical Registry. This filing, however, only serves as a notice to third parties. Thus, it will have no legal effects on the rights of the mortgagee. Apart from the registration of the mortgage as stated above no other registration or consents are required

Deregistration power of attorney: Deregistration powers of attorney are available and effective in Panama

Cape Town: Panama has also ratified the 2001 Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and its Protocols on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment, but with declarations under parts 39, 50, 53 and 54(2)

Survey Completed by Name: Khatiya Asvat Company: Patton, Moreno & Asvat Email address:


bottom of page