Operator: Operator of an aircraft. One of eight possible company roles, i.e. Owner, Operator, Manager, Sub Lessor, Operated For, Financed, Trust or Group.
Manager: Company responsible for the operational management or the leasing arrangements for an aircraft.
Owner: Owner of an aircraft as registered with the governing body of the country where registration resides, e.g. FAA for the USA, CAA for the UK.
Operator Group: This gives the Group of organisations that an aircraft operates on behalf of. It is different to Operated For as the groups are usually made up of several operators who in turn have the capability to operate their aircraft but are branded under one group. Examples would be the US feeder airlines where one or more airlines are used to operate under one brand that is not itself an airline.
Operated For: An aircraft may be flown by an Operator (in the Operator role for the aircraft) on behalf of another organisation (in the Operated For role for the aircraft). This is often due to the lack of skills to pilot or operate the aircraft themselves and so use the skills of the current operator to fulfil its needs. For example, a private operator may fly an aircraft for a non-commercial organisation such as a hospital.
Sub Lessor: Company responsible for the commercial marketing for an aircraft and who leases an aircraft to an operator.
Trust Owner: An organisation that performs the role of managing the ownership of an aircraft for other parties. This can be seen in the United States where non-US organisations are prevented from owning US registered aircraft and Trust companies based in the US are used to take on the ownership in trust to allow the ownership and registration of the aircraft. They can also provide specific skills needed to own aircraft and the associated reporting and contracts that it requires.
Operational Lessor is a derived field. The field 'Operational Lessor' was developed for a specific use case and generally a field which we don't find ourselves recommending regularly. It is a derived field (i.e it is determined by code). Manager is the party takes the risk of the aircraft. In summary it is populated in the following circumstances :-
Operating Lease related aircraft
For aircraft In Service or Storage status on a lease with an airline operator, where Manager Company Type = Operating Lessor. Operational Lessor = Manager (i.e Lessor storage inventory aircraft will not populate Operational Lessor)
For aircraft On Order status where Manager Company Type = Operating Lessor and Operator Company Category = Airlines. Operational Lessor = Manager (i.e unplaced lessor orders/backlog will not populate Operational Lessor)
Airline to Airline Leasing (must be airline entities)
Where Manager Airline is different to Operator Airline, Operational Lessor = Manager
Where Manager Airline is different to Operator Airlines and Sub Lessor Airline is different to both Operator or Manager, Operational Lessor = Sub Lessor