Australia to sign Cape Town Convention

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Australia plans to sign the Cape Town Convention that will give airlines from the country access to lower cost finance for aircraft purchases.

The convention, signed in 2001, paved the way for an international registry of aviation assets led by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. The registry is a database of all financial interests in an aircraft or engine, which reduces the risks taken by leasing companies and other institutions when providing financing.

Signing the convention will save airlines about A$2.5 million ($2.57 million) on the cost of an Airbus A380 and about A$330,000 on a new ATR 72 turboprop aircraft, says the country's transport ministry.

It adds that discount financing will also be available for the purchase of second-hand aircraft, a move that will help smaller regional airlines upgrade and maintain their fleets.

Following the changes to the 2011 Aircraft Sector Understanding, financing discounts will apply to a wider range of aircraft, including turboprop aircraft, which had been previously excluded.

The combined changes will help renew the Australian fleet and replace old models with new and more fuel efficient aircraft.

The government will introduce the Cape Town treaty to parliament later this month and hopes to bring it into domestic law by 2014.