Bermuda Aircraft Registry

Bermuda is a UK Overseas Territory and has the largest offshore aircraft registry, which is also tenth in size overall compared to the 193 signatory States to the Convention on Civil Aviation. The Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) is responsible for the regulation and safety oversight of aviation in Bermuda, and all aircraft on the Bermuda Aircraft Registry.

Although regulated by the UK Department for Transport, Bermuda’s safety oversight system is separate from that of the UK. The regulatory requirements are established as Overseas Territories Aviation Requirements (OTARs), which are in full compliance with the standards and recommended practices of the ICAO, a UN specialised agency established to manage the administration and governance of the Convention of International Civil Aviation.

Bermuda’s registry is global and has Inspectors strategically located out of the two main offices in Bermuda and Farnborough (U.K) and two inspection offices in Moscow and Shanghai (in partnership with Bureau Veritas). Inspectors at these locations are joined by Designated (contracted) Inspectors in strategic locations around the world inclusive of North America, South America, Europe, Middle-East and Asia.

Proven Safety Standards
Over the years, Bermuda’s Aircraft Registry earned a world-class reputation for being safe and well-regulated. In May of last year, the BCAA was awarded an outstanding overall score of 95.2% Effective Implementation (EI) during a safety oversight audit conducted by ICAO. This score solidified Bermuda’s excellent global reputation for high safety standards.

ICAO conducts these audits under its Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP). USOAP audits focus on a State’s capability in providing safety oversight by assessing whether the State has effectively and consistently implemented the critical elements of a safety oversight system.

“Over the years, Bermuda’s Aircraft Registry earned a world-class reputation for being safe and well-regulated.”

Bermuda’s audit consisted of a detailed review of BCAA’s safety oversight system, and the scope included; primary aviation legislation and specific operating regulations (LEG), civil aviation organisation (ORG), personnel licensing and training (PEL), aircraft operations (OPS) and airworthiness of aircraft (AIR). ICAO selected five areas related to operator safety oversight; Legislation, Organisation, Personnel Licensing, Operations and Airworthiness.

Moving Forward
As part of its safety oversight system, Bermuda produced a Safety Plan for 2020 – 2022. In the development of the BCAA Safety Plan, a detailed review was undertaken of the ICAO Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) 2020 – 2022. The plan provides strategic direction for Bermuda related to the management of aviation safety for the next two years and lists safety issues, sets aviation safety aims and objectives, and presents a series of tasks to address identified safety deficiencies and reduce safety risks.

The BCAA Safety Plan allows Bermuda to clearly communicate its strategy for improving safety at the national level to all stakeholders, including various government branches. It provides a transparent means to disclose how the BCAA, and their civil aviation stakeholders, work to identify hazards and manage operational safety risks. The Safety Plan emphasizes Bermuda’s commitment to aviation safety and is also used as the means by which to provide information on safety objectives.

Profile –  ‘Global Visionary Activist’
Thomas Dunstan is a seasoned expert in aviation. He discovered his passion for aircraft and flying at a young age, going on to study and complete a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management and Flight Operations.

With safety at the forefront of his agenda, Thomas initially worked his way up to Manager of Air Operations at the Bermuda Airport, where he contributed to the airport’s certification process and became instrumental in the development of Quality Assurance and Safety Management Systems.

In 2006, Thomas joined the Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation (now the BCAA), which at the time was a department of the Bermuda Government. When Thomas arrived, there were around 240 aircraft on the register and 16 members of staff. Despite the challenges that Thomas faced, such as hiring freezes and budget cuts, he got to work right away with beginning to grow the registry.

“One of the reasons people like the Bermuda Aircraft Registry is because we are large enough to be global and we are small enough to be personable and able to work with our clients.”

During his tenure as Director General, Thomas has led the organisation through a large expansion of up to 900 aircraft on the register and 36 full-time staff. BCAA has been particularly successful with aircraft operating through 83bis agreements, and Thomas implemented an organisation-wide Safety Oversight Management System focusing on risk and performance-based regulatory oversight.

In 2016, Thomas played a lead role in the transition from a Government department to an Authority. This transition was a significant milestone in Bermuda’s civil aviation history.

In the first six months of the organisational change, Thomas created a new business plan, focusing on staff hiring and processes, building brand awareness and planning for market growth. BCAA increased its visibility at global industry events and launched a marketing campaign to highlight their personal approach and customer-centric business model, using the tagline ‘Putting you at the centre of everything we do’.

Becoming an Authority provided more financial autonomy while allowing BCAA to be more customer focused. To help meet customer needs, Thomas saw the potential to expand his team and also expand global presence by opening two new offices in Farnborough (UK) and Shanghai (China).

Business development is important to the BCAA and the revenue produced from the Registry is extremely important to Bermuda. Under Thomas’ direction, the Bermuda Aircraft Registry has become significantly more competitive over the last 6-8 years. More recently, Thomas turned his attention to the growing market in Asia, and after setting up an office in Shanghai has recently launched a Chinese website www.registerwithbermuda.com.

Thomas is known to acknowledge that a lot of his success has come down to having the right staff. As part of ongoing recruitment and development of staff, Thomas implemented succession planning, which has seen members of staff training and seconded to different organisations all over the world.

Q&A with Thomas Dunstan

Thomas Dunstan

New European Economy:  Is there a place for collaboration between jurisdictions operating in the air registries sector?

Thomas Dunstan – There is something to be said about the industry as a whole, and notably with the current climate, there is a harmonisation between all areas of the industry as everyone is trying to survive the current ‘turbulent’ environment. Across aviation, there has been more opportunity for collaboration and certainly, when it comes to measures that have been put in place for COVID-19, there has been a global effort to ensure that operators, regulators and everyone involved with the transportation of people are making the best possible decisions for the safety of those people. One recent example is how stakeholders had to work together to make sure that Crew (Pilots and other staff) are treated with regards to quarantines that are put in place.

Specifically relating to aircraft registries, the place for collaboration is in relationships between States. From a safety perspective, there is an awful lot of collaboration that takes place, as we learn from each other, work together to make sure that the aircraft that are coming and going are safe for travel and for the general public. Organisations such as International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) are instrumental in ensuring that States are following safety-related Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).

New European Economy: What is the secret to the Bermuda Aircraft Registry’s success? What extent could that be replicated elsewhere across the industry?

TD:  the first thing that comes to mind is the importance of hiring the right people. Personally, I don’t look for people who are just qualified, I look for the person who also best fit the role, has the experience and the knowledge required and who is customer focused.

One of the reasons people like the Bermuda Aircraft Registry is because we are large enough to be global and we are small enough to be personable and able to work with our clients. Our staff are strategically spread worldwide, which helps clients stay in contact easily and also helps to keep their costs down.

The Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority is resilient and adaptable. We are in a constantly changing market and we are responsive to that. We work with our clients to make the process of registering an aircraft work for them in a solution-led manner.

Our model is different to many of the other aircraft registries because first and foremost the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority is a regulator, which means that our registry has the backing of and the direct link to all of the regulatory requirements that are involved in registering an aircraft. This is quite a unique model for an offshore registry.

New European Economy: What importance do you attach to new technologies such as urban air mobility, unmanned aircraft systems, sustainable aviation fuel etc. going forward?

TD:  As I mentioned, our industry is ever changing and with new technologies that are introduced such as urban air mobility and unmanned aircraft systems our job as a regulator is to make sure that they are introduced with safety as a priority – for people who are in them and also the people on the ground. Our involvement in the role out of these aircraft is important.

Technological advances that continue to improve in the reduction of our carbon footprint are extremely important in my view. As an industry, we need to keep pushing to find new ways to become more environmentally friendly.

New European Economy: What do you consider marks out your stewardship of the Bermuda Aircraft Registry?

TD:  During my time at BCAA we have transitioned from a Government department to a semi-autonomous Authority, which was a huge undertaking and took a lot of managing, leading and planning. Since I joined in 2006, we have seen tremendous growth and maintained the largest offshore registry in the world, which is something that I am proud of.

For more information : https://www.bcaa.bm/ 

Power to Gas: The Energy Evolution

Avedøre power station

Europe’s reliance on oil imports, where supply is often dependent on external factors like geopolitical conflict and price rises, is risky.  Luckily the power grid is changing, and thanks to renewables, the future of energy is being redefined.

An increase in capacity of renewable energy sources alongside the need to reduce carbon emissions is timely, but the challenge with renewables is that their output changes with the weather – they either don’t produce enough power or they produce too much. This has driven researchers to consider new practices that could be used to exploit the production of RES to supply the energy system.

One valuable technique is to produce hydrogen using excess energy generated via wind or sun that is not required for the power grid during off peak periods. The hydrogen is then safely stored and distributed for future use. The notion of converting and storing electricity from renewable resources that can be later used in heating or as fuel may sound impossible, but it is technically feasible, and is known as ‘power-to-gas’.

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Digital money 

euroWith some autocratic regimes now using digital money for economic control and surveillance, can the original promise of cryptocurrency endure?

Ten years ago, bitcoin was introduced as the first open-source, decentralised, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. The idea of money perpetrates every level of our lives. We trust that someone will accept our money in exchange for goods and services almost everywhere we go. Society relies on banks and governments for this, but since the 2008 financial crisis shook people’s faith in these institutions, the system is being questioned more and more. The architects of bitcoin designed it to solve challenges created by conventional currencies.

Digital currencies reconstruct the idea of money and place faith in technology instead of centralised institutions. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and is still the biggest, but since it was created, alternatives have come along. All of them have the same basic idea: they use a blockchain, a shared public record of transactions, to create and track digital tokens, and these can only be made and shared according to the agreed-upon rules of the network.

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Swedish Data Centres – The Sustainable Solution

Every time you like a Facebook post, watch a YouTube video, stream a Netflix show or make a purchase on Amazon, you are expanding your carbon footprint. Every internet activity involves amounts of data that need to be stored somewhere. Anything that involves images, especially colour ones, generates major data traffic. And as it becomes ever easier to consume online, the more consumption rises. That wouldn’t be an issue if the data centres needed to manage the traffic didn’t consume so much energy.

Data centres have multiplied from almost nothing a decade ago to consuming about 3% of the global electricity supply and accounting for about 2% of total greenhouse gas emissions. That’s a similar carbon footprint as the airline industry. The quantity of energy consumed by these centres is doubling every four years despite hardware innovations that increase capacity to store data. As a result, data centres are forecast to consume roughly treble the amount of electricity in the next decade.

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Cross-party politicians demand Government backed European collaboration on electric cars

A cross-party group of politicians has called on Whitehall to back joint working among European cities to accelerate the uptake of new technology. Writing in an open letter published in the Sunday Telegraph today (23rd July), 15 politicians highlighted the environmental and economic benefits of new technologies such as electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles emit zero carbon dioxide and particulate emissions at source, and have been touted as an answer to London’s air pollution crisis. The letter was signed by a raft of politicians including Conservative MEP Julie Girling, Labour peer Lord Whitty, and SNP MP Alan Brown. Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder joined Green Party peer Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb and Labour peer Baroness Blackstone in backing cross-border cooperation.

The letter highlights the work of Sharing Cities, a Europe-wide programme aiming to deliver pioneering new smart technologies in hundreds of municipalities including London, Milan, and Lisbon. The project draws on €24 million in EU funding. It aims to trigger €500 million in investment and to engage over 100 cities across Europe. The letter said: “Through municipalities working together, Sharing Cities is sharing the cost of testing new technologies and is using economies of scale to reduce the price paid by taxpayers and increasing the attractiveness to innovators.”

Sharing Cities Programme Director Nathan Pierce said: “Electric cars and bikes will help to transform our cities, helping to improve air quality and tackle climate change. “In order to achieve the Government’s ambitious aim of ‘almost every car and van to be zero emission by 2050’ it is clear that cities will need to work together.“We are pleased that such a broad group of politicians sitting in the European Parliament, Westminster and City Hall have come together to back the work we are already doing to achieve these aims.”

Sharing Cities has the ambitious goal of achieving a 10 percent switch from conventional vehicles to eMobility devices.

Business Reality

Digital transformations redesign every facet of modern business and have recently progressed from a fanciful trend to a fundamental element of successful business strategy. New technologies have allowed content creators to connect and communicate with customers in new and exciting ways. No matter how turbulent the year seemed when it came to political affairs or global conflicts, 2016 was an inspired year for Augmented (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), and to some extent, last year could be thought of as the year marking the tech’s ‘coming of age’.

Though closely linked, VR is centered on inventing an entirely digital world while AR is about enriching reality with digital content. VR is synonymous with hardcore gamers; the intense tech heads who are more than happy to wear a huge set of black goggles and network with people, places, and things that aren’t actually there. On the other hand, AR combines reality with virtual reality making it more accessible and user-friendly for the majority of people and businesses.

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Stay Ahead Remote assistance using Augmented Reality

Why?One of the most important goals of modern industry is maximising production efficiency while minimising costs. This is particularly true for companies producing or using complex industrial plants. Whenever faults occur in machinery, it is essential to act promptly to ensure minimal downtime and reduce related costs. Some maintenance and corrective procedures are so complicated or site-specific as to commonly require specialist maintenance expertise, and plants located in remote sites can be difficult to service effectively.

Can augmented reality be used to empower local workforces and make them so tightly connected with skilled remote engineers as to almost give the feeling that experts are present 24/7 at the local site no matter where it is in the world? Italian company VRMedia thinks it is and has created a wearable industrial visor using augmented reality that specialises in real-time, remote assistance: the smARt helmet.

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Leader of the Pack

We speak with Mikael Spuhl, CEO at 3D Interactive Sthlm AB

James Brown: Could you give us a brief introduction to AR and its benefits?

The usual technical description of augmented reality (AR) is “a technology that layers computer generated enhancements on top of an existing reality”. I would introduce AR as way of bringing the real and digital worlds together. With AR, you can make printed material or objects come to life by adding 3D content, animation and video on top of those objects. We see AR as a communication platform that allows you to connect with your clients/customers in a completely new way. To describe the benefits of AR, I think it´s best to give concrete examples of how some of our customers have integrated AR into their businesses:

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