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Registration of Aircraft Ownership

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Registrability of ownership of aircraft

Can an ownership or lease interest in, or lease agreement over, aircraft be registered with the aircraft registry? Are there limitations on who can be recorded as owner? Can an ownership interest be registered with any other registry? Can owners’, operators’ and lessees’ interests in aircraft engines be registered?

Titles and leases over aircraft must be registered at the Public Registry and filed with The Civil Aeronautics Authority (AAC). Title and lease agreements must be translated into Spanish by a Panamanian certified public translator if executed in another language, protocolised and registered at the Public Registry. Only the person who holds the title can be registered as owner. Once the title and lease are recorded with the Public Registry, these must be filed with the AAC for issuance of the definite registration certificate that will show the title holder as owner and the lessee as operator.

There is no engine registry, but it is possible to register title on engines when registering a mortgage on engines at the section of mortgage on chattel property of the Public Registry.

Generally, a mortgage on an aircraft will cover the parts and engines incorporated therein, whether they are present or future accessories or improvements. Ownership on engines capable of individualisation and determination can be mortgaged separately. The title and the mortgage over the engine must be translated into Spanish if executed in another language, processed and filed with the Public Registry for registration.

Documents executed abroad must be certified by a notary public. The notary must state that the signature is authentic and that, pursuant to sufficient evidence provided to him or her, the party signing is duly authorised to sign on behalf of the company. Thereafter, the signature of the notary must be certified according to the 1961 Hague Convention on the apostille or by a Panamanian consul in the place of issuance.

Registration fees are US$100 for review by the Public Registry, plus US$250 for each US$100,000 or fraction thereof with a cap of US$4,200. Additionally, notarial fees in the amount of US$14 per page and translation fees based on the length of the document apply.

Aviation Finance & Leasing in Panama – Key Contact:

María de Lourdes Marengo (

PATTON MORENO & ASVAT, the experienced legal guidance you can trust.

An extract of the Aviation Finance & Leasing Guide 2021, originally published by Getting the Deal Through / Lexology


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