Aircraft as Complex Indivisible Property in Russian Civil Legislation

Aircraft as Complex Indivisible Property in Russian Civil Legislation

An aircraft is one of the most remarkable and intricate engineering creations ever devised by humankind. These flying machines have become an integral part of modern life, facilitating the transportation of passengers, cargo, and even medical assistance to the most remote corners of the Earth. However, when it comes to the legal aspects of ownership and utilization of aircraft, they become subjects of meticulous regulation, including the determination of their legal status in accordance with Russian civil legislation.

Several objects (things) that are combined for common use form an integral whole and are considered as one complex indivisible property (Article 134 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation).

But what does "complex indivisible property" mean, and how is it applicable to aircraft in the Russian legal system? This question will be elucidated by Yuri Vladimirovich Morozov, a lawyer and an expert in aviation law.

From the perspective of Russian civil law, an aircraft is viewed as complex indivisible property, comprised of various components that form a unified entity intended for common use.

At a glance, we can identify the following components of an aircraft:

- Fuselage (body and wings)
- Engines (turbines or propellers)
- Landing gear (skis, etc.)
- Tail assembly
- Control systems, and so on

According to Article 133 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, an item that cannot be divided without destroying, damaging the item, or changing its purpose and that circulates as a single object of property rights is considered indivisible property, even if it has composite parts.

As we understand, an airplane cannot take off without engines.

Articles 35 and 37 of the Air Code of the Russian Federation establish different requirements for the airworthiness of aircraft, aviation engines, and air screws; their certification is carried out separately. The airframe and engines are accounted for on separate accounting records, which also indicates the possibility of dividing the aircraft into the airframe, engines, and accessories. According to Article 134 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, an aircraft is deemed complex indivisible property.

However, we arrive at the conclusion that an aircraft is indivisible property because, in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 130 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, real property includes air and sea vessels, inland navigation vessels, and space objects subject to state registration. Article 133 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation provides the definition of indivisible property: an item that cannot be divided in kind without altering its purpose is considered indivisible.

The fuselage without engines and tail assembly will not take off, but each of these components (wings, turbines, landing gear, propellers, etc.) is traded and operated independently.

From the provisions of the aforementioned norms, it follows that an aircraft cannot be considered divisible property because it is classified as real property and is subject to state registration.

An aircraft is considered indivisible property.