Callenders Clarion Call

Colin Callender, QC, left, Senior Partner, Callenders & Co. law firm, and Llewellyn Boyer-Cartwright, today urged the creation of a Bahamas Aircraft Registry, saying a registry could be “the surprise business story of the next decade.” (Photo by Roland Rose for DP&A)

“This could transform a Family Island from bust to boom and make it the surprise business story of the next decade.”

Predicts registry would give rise to multi-million dollar spin-off support industry

Callenders & Co. Calls for Creation of Bahamas Aircraft Registry

Two senior lawyers today called for the creation of a Bahamas Aircraft Registry, saying it could spin off a host of related business and industries, creating jobs, fueling economic diversity, potentially boosting Family Island business and, eventually generate multi-millions of dollars of revenue.

“Discussions of a Bahamas Aircraft Registry have been going on and off for years,” said Callenders & Co. Senior Partner Colin Callender, QC. “The establishment of a registry always seemed to be desirable, but distant. Today, there is a heightened sense of readiness and urgency. Thus, we at Callenders & Co. are willing to take the lead in driving the process for the creation of a Bahamas Aircraft Registry without which we will continue to lose market share to other jurisdictions like Cayman and Aruba who are equipped to beĀ  one -stop-shops for high net worth individuals and with which we can diversity the economy, create jobs and potentially create an entirely new industry.”

Callenders has stepped to the forefront in the effort to urge establishment of a registry in part because one of its senior associates, Llewellyn Boyer-Cartwright, a 29-year veteran commercial pilot and flight instructor, has married his airline and aviation training with his legal skills. In January, Boyer-Cartwright became the first Bahamian to be admitted to the Lawyer Pilots Bar Association.

In his words, The Bahamas is “perfectly situated” to create and offer an aircraft registry.

“Look at the success we have enjoyed with the Bahamas Maritime Registry,” said Boyer-Cartwright. “There were doubting Thomases when that was first proposed, but the income it has generated not just in fees but in related service industries with businesses like the Grand Bahama Shipyard and Bradford Marine has been substantial, far surpassing anyone’s early expectations.”

According to the pilot-turned-lawyer, a registry will serve multiple goals.

“The first thing most people think of is satisfying the needs of high net worth individuals,” said Boyer-Cartwright who joined Bahamasair at 19 and went on to certify on the Boeing B727, B737 and B747 flying for major international carriers before turning his attention full-time to law. “The person who owns a mega-yacht he can now register in The Bahamas is likely to have a private aircraft, most likely a jet that he’d like to register here as well and he may even own a second or third home. He wants to do all of his business with one firm and within one jurisdiction whose politics and policies, language and culture he understands. However, if we are unable to meet those needs, we are in effect driving business to competing jurisdictions where they can be accommodated and by doing that we are potentially losing out on real estate transactions, vacation spend, indirect revenue and other investment opportunities. The time has come to stop talking and start doing.”

The high net worth individual business is only a small part of what both Callenders lawyers think that an aircraft registry can bring to The Bahamas.

“We have to be very careful to establish high standards,” says Callender. “That was one of the reasons for the success of the Bahamas Maritime Registry which at one point was the fastest growing in the world and today has some 1600 ships and yachts on its Register and it is because of the standards that we have Disney and Carnival sailing under the Bahamian flag. But once the standards are set, that is just the beginning of what can follow.”

Boyer-Cartwright agrees.

“Fees are the tip of the iceberg,” says the lawyer who has more than 7,500 hours of flight time in his log. “A host of other related services unfolds — chartering, leasing, financing, provisioning, repair, airframe mechanics, power plant, avionics technicians. I foresee a day when The Bahamas becomes a major regional hub for both airlines and general aviation and would even go so far as to predict that such a hub could exist on a large Family Island within fast ferry reach of New Providence, opening up hundreds of jobs. Not everyone has to be a banker, lawyer or doctor to succeed. This could transform a Family Island from bust to boom and make it the surprise business story of the next decade.”

Posted on July 18th, 2013