Journal of Air Law and Commerce


During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia passed a law allowing its domestic airlines to reregister foreign-owned aircraft on the Russian aircraft registry. This law raises important questions about dual registration—forbidden under international law—since the prior foreign aviation authorities had not consented to the deregistration of the subject aircraft. Even as lessors revoked airworthiness certificates, Russia re-registered more than 350 leased aircraft. The most significant problem in civil aviation today is Russia’s re-registration law, which undermines predictability, order, and safety. This essay argues that Russia passed its registration law because its war left it with few other options. This does not make Russia’s actions legally defensible, but the context helps frame potential solutions, which will be explored after examining the international aircraft registration regime and the legal implications of Russia’s actions.



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