Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority

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Guide to Article 83 bis Agreement

Article 83 bis (established in 1997) was the first significant amendment to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (better known as the ‘Chicago Convention’) and was created due to industry growth and emerging trends in aircraft leasing.

The agreement provides for the transfer of certain functions and duties from the State of Registry to the State of the Operator, clarifies safety responsibilities, simplifies procedures and in turn, enhances aviation safety. When an aircraft is based outside its jurisdiction, the State of Registry can encounter difficulties trying to ensure compliance with maintenance requirements and the necessary on time renewal of the Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA).

Article 83 bis assists with the structuring of cross-border aviation transactions by providing a mechanism for ensuring safety oversight of an aircraft that is operated from a State that may be less developed.

Article 83 bis Agreements also provide safety and efficiency advantages for an operator with multiple aircraft registered in more than one State, as it allows the flight crew members to be licensed according to the same licensing requirements and able to fly all the aircraft of the operator’s fleet.

An Article 83 bis Agreement should identify the following main elements:

  • State of Registry
  • State of the Operator
  • Duration of the agreement
  • A description of which functions and duties are being transferred
  • Aircraft affected by the agreement
  • The name of individual operator or legal company name
  • Any terms for the termination of lease or other exceptions

To effect the transfer, the parties must enter into an Article 83 bis Agreement, which state specifically, the duties and functions to be transferred, which may include:

  • ICAO Annex 1 – Personnel Licensing
  • ICAO Annex 2 – Rules of the Air
  • ICAO Annex 8 – Airworthiness

The signed Agreement is then forwarded to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for Registration.

In addition to the above-mentioned benefits, some operators have noted that under an Article 83 bis Agreement, the leasing costs have been reduced, and operators have in turn seen a higher residual value during resale.

Because many such arrangements have been taking place over the past number of years since the inception of the Article 83 bis, the ICAO has published a complete Manual that is readily available online. The Manual provides guidance on the proper implementation of Article 83 bis, with the aim of increased usage and more uniform application.

To assist with the various details involved, The BCAA has prepared this checklist for assistance when implementing an Article 83 bis Agreement.