Aircraft register

What are the requirements for entry in the domestic aircraft register?

For registration of an aircraft with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, a deregistration fax and email must be issued by the former registry, if any.

The application for issuance of the certificate of registration must be made in writing, and signed and sworn to by the owner or lessee of the aircraft. The applicant must be a Philippine national (ie, a citizen of the Philippines or a corporation or association organised under the laws of the Philippines, at least 60% of whose capital is owned by Filipino citizens). The supporting documents that must be attached to the certificate of registration application form are as follows:

  • documentary evidence of ownership or, for leased aircraft, a notarised duplicate signed copy of the lease agreement (if the lease agreement is signed outside the Philippines, it must be notarised and consularised at the Philippine consulate in the jurisdiction where it was signed);
  • a special power of attorney or equivalent document (eg, a board resolution authorising the applicant to sign on behalf of the applicant owner or lessee);
  • customs clearance or tax exemption (if applicable) and customs release or payment;
  • a certificate of non-registration, if factory new;
  • an official receipt in connection with the payment of registration fee (depending on the gross weight of the aircraft);
  • an official receipt in connection with the payment of recordation fee (if applicable);
  • Philippines Civil Aviation Authority accounting clearance;
  • an assignment of registration number or RP-C number (the applicant must reserve a registration number which must be used within 90 days, otherwise the reserved registry number is deemed automatically cancelled if not used within that specified period);
  • constitutive documents of the applicant owner or lessee; and
  • a certified true copy of the aircraft’s certificate of insurance.

For aircraft for hire to the general public, the following additional documents must also be submitted:

  • a Civil Aeronautics Board permit or approval; and
  • an air operator certificate.

The Philippines Civil Aviation Authority may require the submission of additional supporting documents. If when considering the application for registration the authority’s director general finds that the aircraft is eligible for registration, such aircraft will be registered and a certificate of registration will be issued.

Mortgages and encumbrances

Is there a domestic register for aircraft mortgages, encumbrances and other interests? If so, what are the requirements and legal effects of registration?

Yes. The Civil Aviation Authority maintains the sole aircraft registry in which conveyances affecting title to or interest (including mortgage, encumbrances and other interests) over Philippine-registered aircraft may also be recorded.

Any conveyance affecting title to or interest in any Philippine-registered aircraft (including a mortgage) or any portion thereof must be recorded with the authority in order to be valid and effective against third parties, otherwise it will bind only the parties and their successors-in-interest and any person who has actual notice of such conveyance. Although no period for the recordation of the security document is specified in the Republic Act 9497 (the Civil Aviation Authority Act), it is recommended that the instrument be recorded promptly after execution. In 2018 Republic Act 11057, otherwise known as the Personal Property Security Act (PPSA), took effect. Pursuant to the language of the PPSA, it is deemed to have taken effect on 7 September 2018, but its implementation is conditioned on the establishment of a new registry on security interests. The PPSA is intended to establish a unified and modern legal framework for securing obligations with personal property and states that it will apply to all transactions of any form that secure an obligation with movable collateral, except interests in aircraft subject to the Civil Aviation Authority and interests in ships subject to the Ship Mortgage Decree 1978.

To register a security interest over an aircraft with the authority, the security document must be filed and recorded in the authority registry and annotated on the rear portion of the certificate of registration.

The security documents must be:

  • originals;
  • notarised; and
  • if executed abroad, consularised by the Philippine consulate where the document was signed.

In addition, the authority requires the presentation of proof of authority of the signatories to the security documents (eg, board resolutions), which must also be notarised and, if executed abroad, consularised by the Philippine consulate where the document was signed. In 2018 the Philippines acceded to the Apostille Convention. The Apostille Convention will enter into force between the Philippines and other state parties which have raised no objection to its accession on 14 May 2019. Once implemented, the relevant implementing regulations may dispense with the consularisation requirement.


What rules and procedures govern the detention of aircraft?

The Civil Code recognises possessory liens in respect of claims for the unpaid price of movables sold and in respect of credits for the making, repair, safekeeping or preservation of personal property. These liens apply to an aircraft. 

Philippine tax authorities may also distrain or sell an aircraft for failure to pay Philippine taxes. 

Philippine customs authorities may likewise sell an aircraft for failure to pay customs duties, fees, charges or fines, or for carriage of smuggled or contraband goods, unless such aircraft is used as a duly authorised common carrier.

Under Executive Order 903, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) (which is empowered to levy and collect dues, charges and fees or concessions), or any service provided by the MIAA, may also on its own authority detain any aircraft, equipment or furniture belonging to the owner or agent of said aircraft, until such amounts have been paid.

Safety and maintenance

What rules and procedures govern aircraft safety and maintenance?

Part 5 of the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (Airworthiness) provides the regulatory requirements for the airworthiness of aircraft expected to operate in the Philippines using the standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Part 8 of the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (Operations) requires continuous airworthiness maintenance inspection and provides for other aircraft safety and maintenance requirements.

A person may operate a civil aircraft only if it is airworthy. Each pilot-in-command must determine whether an aircraft is in a safe condition for flight.

Air carriers must use continuous airworthiness maintenance inspection programmes for the inspection of the aircraft.


What is the state of regulation on unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in your jurisdiction?

The Philippines Civil Aviation Authority:

  • requires prior authorisation for persons planning to conduct remotely piloted aircraft flying displays or air shows;
  • prohibits the flying of drones over airports and no-fly zones; and
  • provides guidelines on remotely piloted aircrafts controller and operator certificates.

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