Cayman, Saudi aviation sign pact

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands recently signed a historic agreement with the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia signalling a new level of cooperation between the two aviation regulatory authorities.

Aviation sign pact

The agreement was signed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Pictured at the signing of the agreement: Standing: Capt. Abdulaziz H. Nagadi and Capt. Ibrahim H. Al-Noamy of the civil aviation authority in Saudi Arabia. Seated from left to right around the table Ian Scott, Director of Air Safety Regulation with Caymans Civil Aviation Authority and Richard Smith, Director-General CAACI, Capt. Mohammad Ali Jamjoom and Peter Lott of the authority in Saudi Arabia and John Warrington, Airworthiness Surveyor for Europe/Middle East, CAACI. Photo: Submitted

The agreement allows for commercial aircraft (used for scheduled airline services and charters) that are registered in Cayman to be operated for commercial purposes by Saudi Arabian airline, National Air Services.


A press release from Cayman’s Civil Aviation Authority noted that the agreement further provides for the sharing of aircraft regulatory oversight responsibilities between the State of Registry (Cayman Islands) and the State of Operator (Saudi Arabia).

‘The importance of sharing regulatory responsibilities means that Cayman, as the State of Registry, will retain a certain level of control in how the aircraft is operated to ensure that required standards are maintained,’ said Director General of Civil Aviation Richard Smith.

He said this agreement could lead to future agreements with other states, thereby expanding the register.


The agreement is known as an Article 83 bis Agreement in accordance with the International Convention on Civil Aviation.

The Cayman Islands Aircraft Registry is a registry of choice and is attractive to prominent global corporations, affluent individuals and aircraft leasing companies due to the highly regulated and stable jurisdiction Cayman offers. As a movable asset, it is important for aircraft leasing companies and financiers to have their assets registered in a jurisdiction such as the Cayman Islands, the press release noted.

Mr. Smith said, ‘This is quite an accomplishment for the Cayman Islands CAA in its refinement of aviation regulation.’

He continued, ‘This agreement has been well thought out, it follows established international standards for safety oversight and we have created a partnership that is beneficial to all parties involved. I am quite pleased with this accomplishment and the high level of aviation safety oversight that the CAACI is able to provide globally.’


In entering into such agreement the UK, as signatory to international treaties, must be satisfied and give its approval. Cayman’s Civil Aviation Authority was provided with an entrustment by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to sign this international agreement, which is in keeping with the standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

This level of commitment and partnership is indicative of the credible reputation and quality of safety oversight the two authorities will provide to aircraft affected by this Agreement, said the release.