Royal Bank of Scotland has appointed Goldman Sachs to consider a sale or other options for RBS Aviation Capital, one of the world's biggest plane leasing businesses, a person familiar with the matter said.

The process is at an early stage, the person said.

Further details were not available. The book value of the aviation assets is about $8 billion, the Wall Street Journal said.

RBS, RBS Aviation Capital and Goldman declined to comment.

Dublin-based RBS Aviation Capital is one of the top five commercial airline lessors, with total lending and owned assets of $12 billion.

It owns, manages or has orders for 372 aircraft and serves 100 airline customers in 38 countries, according to its website.

It has a team of 90 people based in Dublin, London, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Toulouse, Dubai, Singapore and Dubai.

The business was beefed up in April 2001 with the purchase of IAMG.

The UK government owns 70 percent of RBS after pumping 20 billion pounds into the bank. RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester is seeking to shrink the bank's balance sheet and has said he will shed non-core assets.

(Reporting by Steve Slater and Victoria Howley, Editing by Douwe Miedema)