The Isle of Man Aircraft Registry says it expects its tally of "M" prefixed business aircraft to grow to 450 jets, turboprops and helicopters this year and about 570 next year, toppling the Austrian and UK registries into seventh and eighth positions among leading registers of business aircraft.
"At the moment we have the eighth largest business aircraft register in the world," says Brian Johnson, the Isle of Man´s outgoing director of civil aviation. "But by the end of the year, we should have more business aircraft than Austria [now seventh]. By late 2012, we hope to have moved into sixth position, slightly ahead of the UK."
The Manx register is the only one in the world dedicated solely to registering private aircraft.It was set up in May 2007 by the Manx government as a cost-neutral entity, making registration and other related services significantly cheaper than most other national registers.
The register was established to bring in business and employment to the island´s banks and legal and insurance firms, says Johnson, and to position the territory as a centre for aerospace and aviation services.
"It has been more successful that we could ever have imagined," he adds. "On average, we are registering about 120 aircraft a year. Bombardier types are most popular, with around 85 registered to date, including 18 long-range Global Express/XRS."