Controversy over Utah plane spotted in Iran

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The photos show enough information for it to be positively identified. Until now no actions were taken although a government watchdog already prompted two warnings about the fact that over 5600 U.S. planes are registered by non-U.S. citizens who have their identities concealed. This is done through trustees. For the Utah plane, aviation records show that through an arrangement the Bank of Utah serves as a trustee for the real aircraft owners.

Economic activities between Iran and U.S. are generally prohibited by federal regulations. The only approved activities are by the U.S. Department of Treasury. This is why the fact that the plane was spotted in Iran generated a lot of controversy.

As a condition for aircraft registration, trustees are not required to reveal the identity of the real aircraft owners according to current FAA regulations. This in turn created problems for the FAA at least for a couple of situations when it was required to identify the real air-plane owners but wasn’t able to do so. FAA has recently updated its policies and the reason behind this, according to the released memorandum, was also explained: “We found several cases in which aircraft were operating or registered under questionable and possibly illegal circumstances and the FAA did not have sufficient information to conduct its safety oversight,”

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