Influence from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)—among others—is credited with convincing the FAA to keep its Oklahoma City Aircraft Registry staff on duty on New Year’s Eve—albeit with “limited personnel” (presumably meaning, prepare to spend some time on “hold” if you call). Due to the New Year’s federal holiday falling on Dec. 31 (because Jan. 1, 2022, falls on a Saturday), there was concern that large numbers of critical transactions would be stuck in holiday limbo. Also applying leverage were the International Aircraft Dealers Association and the National Aircraft Finance Association.
NBAA senior director of public policy and advocacy Scott O’Brien said, “Aircraft buyers and sellers are going to need every day of the calendar year to finalize aircraft transactions. Considering the value of the aircraft, not being able to complete even a small number of transactions in 2021 has a significant impact on a manufacturer’s bottom line.” GAMA pointed to complications due to supply chain issues, saying that manufacturers have several dozen aircraft slated for delivery in the last week of December.
“We know the interests of the customer to have a new aircraft with them before the end of the year for tax planning purposes,” said Jens Hennig, GAMA’s vice president of operations. “And we fully appreciate that.”
“If parties are closing a transaction the last week of December, their best bet is to close on Dec. 29 or 30,” said Scott McCreary, an attorney at McAfee and Taft in Oklahoma City. “If they have to close on the 31st, the FAA has provided us an opportunity to take documents related to an ownership transfer and submit them to the filing bin at the FAA Public documents room during normal working hours,” he added.
NBAA noted, however, “The FAA will not actually process the documents submitted on December 31, so parties will not be able to obtain a fly wire, import/export an aircraft, renew an aircraft registration, or obtain a unique authorization code for purpose of making registrations on the International Registry. Those tasks will be completed after the holiday weekend.”