In 1994, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), requested the formation, by Airbus and Boeing, of an ad hoc international industry group to provide detailed, coordinated input to assist UNIDROIT in the development of an international treaty on the financing and leasing of mobile equipment that would come to be known as the Cape Town Convention (CTC). In response to that request, Airbus and Boeing agreed to form AWG. They jointly invited others into this grouping.
The initial and subsequent invitees were major manufacturers, financial institutions, and leasing companies. Since that time, AWG’s scope of activity and membership has expanded significantly. It now addresses a wide range of topics affecting international aviation financing and leasing.
Prior to 2000, AWG limited its activities to contributing to and advancing CTC. It developed and submitted to UNIDROIT major papers and studies that helped shape the fundamental thinking on, and objectives and terms of, CTC. In that effort, which it undertook in close cooperation with the IATA, AWG was guided by the basic principle that the treaty must reflect asset-based financing and leasing principles and facilitate extensions of aviation credit.
The Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters specific to Aircraft Equipment (Aircraft Protocol) were adopted on 16 November 2001. The final texts of the Cape Town Convention and of its Aircraft Protocol can be found at the depositary’s -UNIDROIT – official website.
In 2000, the group began considering whether it should pursue other matters of mutual interest on financing and leasing-related topics, employing the methods that were proving successful in developing and advancing the Cape Town Convention (CTC).
AWG’s spontaneous leadership role in day-to-day action immediately following the events of 9/11 convinced its members to institutionalize AWG. AWG led efforts to secure government cover and revise liability rules in the context of aviation-related terrorism.
In late 2002, AWG formalized as a not-for-profit entity, organized under the laws of Bermuda (a company limited by guarantees).
The formalization was coupled with the adoption of a best practices’ compliance program. The compliance program is reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
AWG has grown steadily over the years. It now has broad international membership that comprises the major manufacturers, lessors and financiers of commercial aviation equipment.
Without limiting its overarching industry objectives, AWG works for its member (and only for its members) to address their specific problems (on matters with AWG’s scope).
Today, AWG addresses the following projects: