The Isle of Man Aircraft Register goes from strength to strength. Since its launch in May 2007, it has accrued 587 M-registration aircraft.

There are 404 aircraft currently registered, says civil aviation director Hartley Elder. Over the last 12 months, 103 were added. “We expect the register to continue to grow at 100 aircraft per year,” he says.

The end of the economic crisis, especially in the U.S. and Europe, may mean a further upsurge. “Right now I am running around getting the resources and processes in place in preparation for this,” Elder says. “We’re working to create an entirely online bespoke IT solution which we hope will make the applicants and our lives a lot easier.

“It’s my hope this will be running either by late this year or early next.”

Long-range and super long-range aircraft from Bombardier, Dassault and Gulfstream are the most likely to sport the Manx M- tail. The most prevalent are Bombardier Globals, with 118 registered. Dassault Falcons are next with 65 aircraft registered since 2007.

A lot of the Registry’s business is from the former Soviet Union, with many sign-ups from Kazakhstan.

“We’re still growing steadily in the Middle East and Africa, particularly in Nigeria where we have a cluster of aircraft,” Elder says. “We’ve also a couple in South Africa but our furthest flown are two large cabin aircraft in Australia.”

The largest aircraft with an Isle of Man registration is a VVIP Airbus A340-300 – believed to be the last A340 produced. An Airbus A380 has also been mooted.