Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Secure Airways from Criminals and Terrorists

FACT Coalition Supports ‘Aircraft Ownership Transparency Act of 2017’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill Friday to secure the U.S. aviation system from criminal actors and terrorists hiding behind anonymous shell companies, in a move welcomed by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition), a non-partisan alliance of more than 100 state, national, and international organizations promoting policies to combat the harmful impacts of corrupt financial practices.

The Aircraft Ownership Transparency Act of 2017 [H.R. 3544], sponsored by Reps. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Peter King (R-NY), and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), would require that those seeking to register aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through anonymous shell companies disclose the true human owners behind the entities.

The FACT Coalition sent a letter to Reps. Lynch, King, and Maloney in support of the legislation.  The letter reads:

“Unfortunately, there is no requirement that any U.S. state collect and maintain records about whom ultimately owns or controls a U.S. Legal Person.  As a result, the FAA does not really have any idea who owns aircraft operating in America if the registered owner is a U.S. Legal Entity, despite the registration requirement.

“This is an untenable situation.  U.S. aircraft can be weaponized — as we know all too well.  They can be bought and sold in order to launder money or transfer money/value from one person to another with little detection.  They can be used to transport illegally generated cash, drugs, and other contraband.  Not knowing who owns these aircraft can put Americans at risk.”

The full letter can be downloaded here.

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Notes to Editors:

Journalist Contact:

Clark Gascoigne
Deputy Director, The FACT Coalition
+1 202 827-6401
cgascoigne@nullthefactcoalition.org