The man who set up the successful first aircraft register in the Isle of Man more than six years ago is poised to work the same magic for Jersey.
Brian Johnson, who was the Isle of Man’s first director of civil aviation and responsible for getting the project off the ground, now works for Appleby’s in Douglas and has accepted a consultancy role through the firm to help Jersey with its project.
‘The aircraft register in the Isle of Man is one of the most successful projects I have ever been involved with,’ he said.
‘And plans to launch an aircraft registry in Jersey could also provide a boost for the Isle of Man’s private sector.’
Mr Johnson, who for the past two years has been Appleby’s aviation director of operations, said the Isle of Man has a great advantage because it has the only offshore register within the EU VAT area.
‘If there is a requirement to address the VAT on a Jersey-registered, or Guernsey-registered aircraft purchase, for aircraft visiting or based in the EU, businesses in the Isle of Man are ideally placed to provide an Isle of Man VAT-registered aircraft ownership company. In essence, Jersey’s registry plans could generate more new business for the Isle of Man.
‘Alongside our own aircraft registry, offshore jurisdictions in Aruba, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, San Marino and Guernsey already have established registers,’ he said.
The island’s business jet register is now a major off-shore concern with more than 650 aircraft registered, despite the growing competition.
Those with aircraft registered in the island range from businessmen to royal families.
‘My job in Jersey is to help them to establish their register and it will be broadly based on the model that the Isle of Man has,’ he said.
‘The target for completing the project is summer 2014 so the aim is to have it running in six months, which is a challenge as it took a year to do in the Isle of Man.’
Mr Johnson will be working via the firm’s Jersey office, though the Isle of Man will remain his base and home.