|Aircraft Registry to spur $22M in revenue|
Guardian Business Editor
Published: Aug 03, 2012
The country's leading authority on aviation law says the establishment of a Bahamas International Aircraft Registry would generate $22 million every year in government revenue.
That was the bottom line at the Sunrise Rotary Club of Nassau's featured presentation yesterday held at the British Colonial Hilton. Llewellyn Boyer-Cartwright, a senior associate at Callenders & Co., laid out the basics of a move that experts believe will help the aviation industry grow to "unprecedented levels".
While the level of revenue is estimated between $18 million and $22 million annually, the top attorney noted that the greater source of revenue would come from customs and duties from imports, National Insurance Board contributions from additional employment, building permit fees, stamp tax or real property tax from additional home ownership and temporary work permit fees.
The potential is so great that Boyer-Cartwright, a veteran in the industry for 29 years, is preparing a formal proposal for government.
"It could pave the way for so much opportunity. What I need to do with the government is explain what has been done in the past, how far we got, and where we perhaps need to go to move forward," he told Guardian Business.
Aruba, Malta and the Isle of Man have all recently established their own registries. The registry, Boyer-Cartwright said, adds another layer of convenience and prestige to prominent companies and individuals that may have considerable interests in the country or region.
It would add security, help complete the financial services package, and create a number of employment and business spin-off opportunities. In his presentation to rotary members, Boyer-Cartwright, who recently became the first Bahamian to be admitted to the Lawyers Pilots Bar Association, cited aircraft surveying, repair facilities, manufacturing and servicing as areas of growth.
"Bermuda is projected to experience an $18 to $20 million boost from its aircraft registry by the year 2017," according to the presentation yesterday. "Bermuda does not have a national airline, nor does it offer any repair facilities. Aircraft, like ships, are mobile and owners or shareholders are willing to go where the best, most secure, safest, most convenient registry exists."
The top attorney also explained to rotary members the basics of the Cape Town Convention, an international accord that creates rules and regulations for international registries.
Membership, he said, would be essential before the government and private sector could move forward on an international aircraft registry.
Boyer-Cartwright has also recommended the appointment of an Advisory Council to steer the committee guiding the creation of a Bahamas International Aircraft Registry. The creation of an independent Civil Aviation Board and Regulatory Body is suggested, consisting of representatives from different areas of the industry, whereby appointments are non-political.