Aviation working group (AWG) is a not-for-profit legal entity comprised of major aviation manufacturers, leasing companies and financial institutions that contribute to the development of policies, laws and regulations that facilitate advanced international aviation financing and leasing.
The statutory objects of AWG, as set out in its memorandum of association, are to contribute to the development and acceptance of policies, laws, regulations and rules that:
- Facilitate advanced international aviation financing and leasing
- Address inefficiencies in aviation financing or leasing or that constrain these transactions
The statutory objects of AWG, as set out in its memorandum of association, are:
- To contribute to the development and acceptance of policies, laws, regulations and rules that:
- facilitate advanced international aviation financing and leasing
- address inefficiencies in aviation financing or leasing or that constrain these transactions
- To act as a vehicle for undertaking analytic work relating to the matters within the scope of the object specified above, including, without any limitation whatsoever, in fields of property and contractual rights, insurance and liability, banking, accounting and taxation, and international trade
- To interact with states, intergovernmental organizations, and other public and private national or international bodies, associations or groupings, in each case as relates to the objects specified above
- To participate in the work of, represent the views of its members in, and otherwise provide technical assistance to, the specialized bodies of the United Nations and other bodies and groupings established by international agreement, in each case as relates to the objects specified above
- Do all things incidental or conducive to the attainment of the objects specified above
AWG is comprised of leading aviation manufacturers, financiers, and lessors. It brings these three perspectives to bear in addressing aviation financing and leasing topics.
AWG’s policy decisions are determined by its members.
AWG acts under the supervision of its board of directors.
AWG work is organized around a set of projects to which subgroup members contribute their specific expertise. This ensures that AWG views and positions reflect current and practical thinking.
The co-chairs of AWG are Francois Collet, Airbus, and Daniel da Silva, Boeing.
The secretary general of AWG, Jeffrey Wool, organizes and coordinates the internal and external activities and communications of AWG. Mr. Wool performs these functions on secondment from Blakes Cassels & Graydon LLP, where he is its head of aerospace law and policy.
Blakes Cassels & Graydon serves as AWG’s external international counsel.
AWG acts under the supervision of its board of directors. The current board representatives are:
The work of AWG on the Cape Town Convention (CTC) is enhanced by its external legal advisory panel. The panel is comprised of leading practitioners of international aviation finance law.
The main purposes of the legal advisory panel (panel) are:
- To provide thoughts, support and interpretation on the implementation of, and compliance with, the CTC, and support to AWG on the institutionalization of the CTC, and
- To provide advice, on request, on other projects undertaken by AWG
Legal advisory panel structure
Members of the legal advisory panel:
The members of the panel are:
The executive committee
The panel has a chair and vice chair, and is coordinated by its executive committee.
The lawyers currently serving in these roles, and the members of its executive committee, are depicted here. Each major work streams of the panel is coordinated by a member of the executive committee.
The current and past chairs of the panel are listed here.
National contact groups
AWG has established national and regional contact groups around the world.
Currently, there are nineteen such groups covering thirty-five countries.
These groups are comprised of leading local lawyers in ratifying countries and are coordinated be a leader selected by AWG.
The main function of the contact groups is to collect information relating to, and to seek compliance by such countries with the Cape Town Convention (CTC).
The contact groups also serve as forum for the discussion and assessment of practical aspects of the treaty at a national level.
The contact group network and individual groups and their members are shown below:
- Australia and New Zealand
- Middle East
- [covering Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and UAE]
- [covering Denmark, Norway and Sweden]
- South Africa
- South East Asia
- [covering Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Vietnam]
- United Kingdom
- United States
The legal advisory panel (panel) works on the following projects:
|Project||Coordinating executive committee member|
|Annotations to official commentary||William Piels, Holland & Knight
John Pritchard, Holland & Knight
|Analysis of CTC legal activity||Catherine Duffy, A&L Goodbody
Phillip Durham, Holland & Knight
|Assessing and addressing export-related items under CTC||Natalia Nikitina, White and Case|
|Supporting the CTC compliance index support||Mark Lessard, Pillsbury|
|Educational materials||Carlos Sierra, Abogados Sierra|
|Judge’s handbook||Peter Watson, Allen & Overy|
Annotations to Official Commentary
Annotations to Official Commentary on the Cape Town Convention (CTC) and its Protocols, which, with Professor Sir Roy Goode’s personal endorsement, are issued by the Cape Town Convention Academic Project (CTCAP) from time to time. The objective of these annotations is to address questions that the Official Commentary does not, or does not fully, address.
The panel prepares suggested annotations for consideration by, and at the absolute discretion of, the CTCAP.
Final annotations are issued pursuant to procedures established by the University of Cambridge and UNIDROIT, under whose auspices and supervision the CTCAP operates.
Analysis of Cape Town Convention legal activity
AWG produces legal analysis reports on judicial decisions applying CTC.
These analyses include a particular focus on court’s interpretation of CTC and whether it complies with the requirements of the treaty.
All legal activity reports are reflected under the CTCAP. These may be obtained here.
Assessing and addressing export-related items
AWG is undertaking a project to assess and address items relating to the export remedy under CTC. Major aspect includes:
- preventing delay relating to items under the control of the operator
- ensuring that government liens and detention rights are limited to those in the applicable declaration
- clearing customs, including the creditor’s ability to take related action
- defining the required scope of safety-related requirements in the export context
- transferring regulatory responsibility
This project has links to other panel projects, including proposed annotations to the Official commentary, an expanded assessment in the practitioner’s guide, and specific educational materials.
A comprehensive article on export is planned for the 2020 issue of the Cape Town Convention Journal.
This project does not address aircraft de-registration, which, where an irrevocable de-registration and export authorization (IDERA) has been issued, is automatic upon a creditor’s compliance with article IX (5) of CTC.
The Cape Town Convention compliance index support
AWG is developing the Cape Town Convention compliance index (CTC compliance index). The CTC compliance index will assess and score country compliance with the requirements of CTC. It will provide information to the aviation financing and leasing community, thereby maximizing compliance incentive. That, in turn, will positively impact the provision of aviation credit, thus strengthening the air transport sector and producing economic benefits.
Visit the CTC compliance index project section for more information on this project.
The panel provides substantial input in this project.
The panel has published self-instructional materials for individuals needing information about CTC.
These materials have been assembled in the context of the (CTCAP), seeking to assist scholars, students, practicing lawyers, judges and other government officials, as well as the industry at large, by providing information on and education about the CTC and its protocols.
These self-instructional materials have been or will be translated by the panel into:
The panel is developing a judge’s handbook to assist judges, government officials, and litigation lawyers by setting out the requirements of the treaty in contested cases.
The practitioner’s guide is a document published by the panel to provide practical assistance to practitioners in working with CTC.
The guide is updated periodically.
An updated and annotated form of legal opinion (annex E to the guide) was released on an interim basis.
The next edition of the practitioner’s guide will be published in 2020.
In 1994, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), requested the formation, by Airbus and Boeing, of an ad hoc international industry group to provide detailed, coordinated input to assist UNIDROIT in the development of an international treaty on the financing and leasing of mobile equipment that would come to be known as the Cape Town Convention (CTC). In response to that request, Airbus and Boeing agreed to form AWG. They jointly invited others into this grouping.
The initial and subsequent invitees were major manufacturers, financial institutions, and leasing companies. Since that time, AWG’s scope of activity and membership has expanded significantly. It now addresses a wide range of topics affecting international aviation financing and leasing.
Prior to 2000, AWG limited its activities to contributing to and advancing CTC. It developed and submitted to UNIDROIT major papers and studies that helped shape the fundamental thinking on, and objectives and terms of, CTC. In that effort, which it undertook in close cooperation with the IATA, AWG was guided by the basic principle that the treaty must reflect asset-based financing and leasing principles and facilitate extensions of aviation credit.
The Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters specific to Aircraft Equipment (Aircraft Protocol) were adopted on 16 November 2001. The final texts of the Cape Town Convention and of its Aircraft Protocol can be found at the depositary’s -UNIDROIT – official website.
In 2000, the group began considering whether it should pursue other matters of mutual interest on financing and leasing-related topics, employing the methods that were proving successful in developing and advancing the Cape Town Convention (CTC).
AWG’s spontaneous leadership role in day-to-day action immediately following the events of 9/11 convinced its members to institutionalize AWG. AWG led efforts to secure government cover and revise liability rules in the context of aviation-related terrorism.
In late 2002, AWG formalized as a not-for-profit entity, organized under the laws of Bermuda (a company limited by guarantees).
The formalization was coupled with the adoption of a best practices’ compliance program. The compliance program is reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
AWG has grown steadily over the years. It now has broad international membership that comprises the major manufacturers, lessors and financiers of commercial aviation equipment.
Without limiting its overarching industry objectives, AWG works for its member (and only for its members) to address their specific problems (on matters with AWG’s scope).
Today, AWG addresses the following projects:
Cape Town Convention (CTC)
- CTC compliance index
Global Aircraft Trading System (GATS)
- Historic standardized documentation facilitating aircraft transfers
- Cross-border transferability
- Export credit
- Air navigation and airport charges
- Insurance and liability
The aviation leasing and financing industry, like most other industries, needs to substantially enhance diversity and inclusiveness in the workforce. That applies at all levels of companies and across job and skill types.
Diversity and inclusiveness are linked to enhanced profitability, problem-solving capacity, creativity, and work satisfaction.
AWG is committed to encouraging and promoting diversity and inclusiveness in our sector, and is considering a range of activities to facilitate that objective, including:
- creating a forum for exchange of views on best practices
- encouraging or supporting research, training, and educational programs