Demonstration Flights

The Registry recognises that there are occasions where aircraft owners/operators have a valid need to conduct demonstration flights for the potential sale or lease of an aircraft. It is also recognised that it is generally the corporate aviation industry norm for the actual costs of such demonstration flights to be borne by the potential aircraft buyer/lessee.

As Article 11 of the Air Navigation (Isle of Man) Order 2015 (“the Order”) currently prohibits an aircraft registered in the Isle of Man from flying on a flight for the purpose of commercial air transport or aerial work*, recovering the actual cost of a legitimate demonstration flight would be in breach of our legislation.

*Aerial work is defined as, “a purpose, other than commercial air transport, for which an aircraft is flown if valuable consideration is given or promised for the flight or the purpose of the flight.” (Note: this definition of aerial work is a variance from ICAO.)

Therefore to ensure that legitimate demonstration flights with appropriate cost recovery can be permitted, the IOMAR may issue an Exemption from Article 11.  The Exemption would define the actual costs that may be recovered within an appropriately robust regulatory framework – this will ensure that the flight is legal.

Please see below for the conditions and what are appropriate recoverable costs.

This process is not applicable for any of the following:

  • Demonstration flights where the costs are borne by the current aircraft owner/operator;
  • Flights connected to the sale or lease of an aircraft other than for demonstration to a potential aircraft buyer/lessee, e.g. for the purpose of pre-purchase inspection or to deliver to a closing location;
  • Aircraft Awaiting Commercial Leases (otherwise known as Transitional Aircraft).

The following conditions apply:

(a) That no charge is made except for the actual costs for the specific demonstration flight and any required positioning flight, limited to no more than 100% of the following:

  1. Fuel, oil, lubricants and other additives;
  2. Flight crew remuneration;
  3. Travel expenses of the crew, including food, lodging and ground transportation;
  4. Hangar, parking and ground handling costs away from the aircraft’s base of operation;
  5. Insurance obtained for the specific flight;
  6. Landing fees, airport taxes and similar assessments;
  7. Customs charges, foreign permit and similar fees directly related to the flight;
  8. In-flight food and beverages;
  9. Passenger ground transportation;
  10. Flight planning and weather contract services;
  11. Air navigation service charges.


Note: The specification of an hourly direct operating cost (DOC) rate is an acceptable means of compliance subject to the DOC rate being no greater than 100% of the above costs.

(b) Operational command and control of the aircraft and crew shall remain with the aircraft operator.
(c) The aircraft insurance shall cover a demonstration flight.
(d) Records of the charges levied for the demonstration flight(s) are to be retained by the aircraft operator and these shall be provided to the IOMAR if so requested.

To apply for an Exemption, aircraft operators should make the request by email to [email protected] specifying the circumstances and duration of the proposed demonstration flight(s).