David Heffernan

Vice Chair, Transportation & Trade

Washington, D.C.

(202) 463-2537

(202) 640-5985

Recent News:

Four Cozen O’Connor Transportation & Trade Attorneys Selected to Who’s Who Legal

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Jeffrey Lawrence, chair of the firm’s Transportation & Trade Group, David Heffernan, vice chair of the firm’s Transportation & Trade Group, Jonathon Foglia, member of the firm’s Transportation & Trade Group, and Marc Fink, of counsel, have all been selected to Who’s Who Legal: Transport 2022 —a guide to the world’s leading transport lawyers.

David is a member of the firm's Transportation & Trade Group and co-chair of the Aviation Industry Team. David represents major U.S. and foreign passenger and cargo airlines and their trade associations, airports, aircraft, engine, and other equipment manufacturers, air travel distribution companies, air/ground express delivery and logistics companies, and other aviation industry participants before various government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Homeland Security, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

David assists clients in obtaining economic authority, code-share authority, international frequencies and routes, and antitrust immunity. He advises clients on U.S. laws, regulations, legislation, and DOT/FAA/TSA policies with respect to such issues as mergers, acquisitions, airline alliances and joint ventures, computer reservations systems and air travel distribution regulation, licensing and certification (including FAA certification of aircraft and equipment), taxes and fees, airport slots, rates and charges, advertising and consumer enforcement policies, aviation safety and security, and competition policy. He also advises clients on the sale, lease, and financing of aircraft, engines, and other aviation assets, including large commercial and private corporate aircraft. In addition, he advises clients on aviation regulatory aspects of aircraft/equipment transactions, mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions involving the purchase and sale of aviation companies, and assets, as well as aircraft management, charter, and fractional ownership agreements. These clients include not only aviation companies but also large corporations, banks, private equity, and other investors. David has also advised clients involved in the aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) business for both large commercial and private corporate aircraft. He also has advised clients on regulatory and other legal issues relating to commercial uses of unmanned aircraft (drones).

David has been recognized as a nationwide leader in Transportation: Aviation/Regulatory in each annual edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2007-2021). He was selected as a leader in aviation law in the 2012-2018 editions of The International Who's Who of Aviation Lawyers. He also was nominated for inclusion in Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Aviation Lawyers, 6th edition and 9th edition, in addition to being the recipient of the 2015 Air Law Institute Inspiration Award: Law. The Legal 500 United States named David a "Leading Lawyer" for Transport: Aviation and Air Travel for 2017-2020.

David was editor-in-chief of The Air & Space Lawyer, the quarterly publication of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Air & Space Law from 2011 to 2019. He is the author of numerous articles on legal issues affecting the aviation industry. As a co-editor, he has published two treatises on U.S. and European aviation law: Aviation Regulation in the United States (ABA Book Publishing, 2014) and the Cologne Compendium on Air Law in Europe (Kluwer, 2013). He authored a chapter on Compliance with U.S. Aviation and Safety Regulations in the book "Inside the Minds: Complying with Transportation Regulations" (Thomson Reuters Westlaw, Aspatore Books, 2014). He is a contributor to Forbes.com, writing about legal, regulatory, and policy issues affecting aviation. 

David is a regular speaker at legal and industry conferences on a wide range of aviation law topics.

 

News

Four Cozen O’Connor Transportation & Trade Attorneys Selected to Who’s Who Legal

October 28, 2021

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Jeffrey Lawrence, chair of the firm’s Transportation & Trade Group, David Heffernan, vice chair of the firm’s Transportation & Trade Group, Jonathon Foglia, member of the firm’s Transportation & Trade Group, and Marc Fink, of counsel, have all been selected to Who’s Who Legal: Transport 2022 —a guide to the world’s leading transport lawyers.

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O’Connor Practice Areas and 12 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2021 Legal Guide

June 17, 2021

The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O’Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, Jeffrey Mullen, Josh Stein, Jeff Vogel, and Rachel Welford to its 2021 Legal Guide.

82 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 19 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2021 Guide

May 26, 2021

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 82 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2021 edition; of those, 15 lawyers have been recognized nationally.

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O’Connor Practice Areas and 13 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2020 Legal Guide

June 22, 2020

The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O’Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Stephen Cozen, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, Jeffrey Mullen, Josh Stein, Christopher Sweeney, and Jeff Vogel to its 2020 Legal Guide.

63 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 16 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2020 Guide

May 14, 2020

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 63 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2020 edition.

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O'Connor Practice Areas and Nine Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2019 Legal Guide

June 14, 2019

The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O'Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, and Jeffrey Mullen to its 2019 Legal Guide.

57 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 16 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2019 Guide

April 25, 2019

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the USA, has ranked 57 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the Guide’s 2019 edition.

Three Practice Areas and Six Attorneys Recommended by The U.S. Edition of The Legal 500

June 15, 2018

The U.S. edition of The Legal 500 recognized Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, and Shipping practices as well as attorneys Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, and Anne Mickey.

Freeman and Heffernan named to JD Supra 2018 Readers Choice Awards Top Airlines/Aviation Authors

April 13, 2018

David Heffernan, a member of Cozen O’Connor Transportation and Trade Practice Group, and Rob Freeman, a government relations principal in Cozen O’Connor’s Public Strategies Group, were named to JD Supra 2018 Readers Choice Awards Top Airlines/Aviation Authors.

Two Practice Areas and Eight Attorneys Named to the Legal 500 United States

June 19, 2017

The Legal 500 United States recommended Cozen O’Connor’s Shipping and Aviation practices and named Mark Atwood, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, Mark Fink, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, and Anne Mickey to its 2017 list.

Cozen O’Connor Earns Client Recognition in 2017 Chambers USA Rankings

May 26, 2017

Chambers USA recognized 47 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields; 14 attorneys were recognized nationally and 11 were ranked in the top band.

Airlines Don't Need More Laws Regulating Overbooking, Aviation Attorney Says

May 04, 2017

David Heffernan, of Cozen O'Connor's Transportation & Trade Group, was quoted in Cook County Record article, "Airlines don't need more laws regulating overbooking, aviation attorney says."

Publications

FAA Proposes to Increase Rest Periods for U.S. Airline Flight Attendants [Alert]

October 25, 2021

David Heffernan and Rachel Welford discuss the FAA's NPRM to require flight attendants at large U.S. airlines receive a rest period of at least 10 consecutive hours between periods of duty lasting 14 hours or less.

DOT’s ‘Unfair Or Deceptive Practices’ Rule Is Fair And Transparent [Aviation Daily]

February 08, 2021

David Heffernan co-authored an article for Aviation Daily discussing how the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) issued a rule clarifying how it interprets its statutory authority to prohibit airlines from engaging in “unfair or deceptive practices.”

DOT Unfair Practices Rule Adds Clarity To Airline Regulation [Law360]

January 12, 2021

David Heffernan contributed an article to Law360 discussing what the DOT plans to do to prohibit unfair and deceptive airline practices.

DOT Implements New Legal Paradigm for Regulating Airlines [Alert]

December 21, 2020

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued new regulations codifying specific criteria for interpreting its fundamental regulatory authority under 49 U.S.C. section 41712 to prohibit airlines from engaging in “unfair or deceptive practices.”

DOT Confirms That Comfort Animals Are Not Service Animals [Alert]

December 07, 2020

David Heffernan and Rachel Welford discuss the DOT's new regulation, “Traveling by Air with Service Animals,” that substantially revises its rules governing the transportation of service animals onboard aircraft.

DOT Provides Airline Payment Flexibility for Enforcement Penalty During COVID-19 [Alert]

July 17, 2020

David Heffernan discusses the DOT's consent order against Volaris and how it may provide insights into how DOT is approaching enforcement during COVID-19.

DOT Offers Airlines No Relief From Ticket Refund Obligations in Light of COVID-19 Flight Disruptions [Alert]

April 07, 2020

Rachel Welford and David Heffernan discuss DOT's notice regarding "Refunds By Carriers Given the Unprecedented Impact of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on Air Travel" and what carriers must do to ensure their compliance.

DOT to Impose Minimum Air Service Obligations For U.S. Carriers Receiving CARES Act Financial Assistance [Alert]

March 31, 2020

David Heffernan and Rachel Welford discuss DOT's proposed parameters for implementing the authority granted it by the CARES Act to maintain scheduled air transportation to U.S. points.

FAA Grants Airlines Relief From U.S. Airport Slot-Use Restrictions in Response to Coronavirus [Alert]

March 16, 2020

David Heffernan discusses the FAA's announcement that carriers that cancel or reduce service at U.S. slot controlled airports will not forfeit their slots.

Why DOT Should Interpret "Deceptive Practices" Using a "Reasonable Consumer" Standard [The Air & Space Lawyer]

March 13, 2020

David Heffernan co-authored an article for The Air and Space Lawyer, explaining how the FTC, in applying its test for "deception," determines what constitutes "reasonable" consumer behavior.

Comfort Animals are Not Service Animals: U.S. DOT to Narrow Scope of Service Animal Accommodations [Alert]

February 03, 2020

David Heffernan and Rachel Welford discuss the significant changes the DOT made to its regulations relating to the transportation of service animals by air.

DOT Proposes Revisions to its Airline Tarmac Delay Regulations [Alert]

October 28, 2019

David Heffernan and Rachel Welford discuss DOT's efforts to conform their regulations to the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016’s requirements.

FAA Plans to Increase Rest Periods for U.S. Airline Flight Attendants

October 01, 2019

David Heffernan discusses the FAA's advance notice of proposed rulemaking and when the rule change will likely go into effect.

Can JetBlue Challenge The Transatlantic Airline Alliances? [Forbes]

April 24, 2019

David Heffernan wrote about JetBlue's recent announcement to begin service to Europe in 2021 using new Airbus A321LR aircraft.

The Safety and Comfort of Your Airline Seat [Forbes]

January 07, 2019

David Heffernan, a member of the firm's Transportation & Trade Group and co-chair of the Aviation Industry Team, authored "The Safety and Comfort of Your Airline Seat" for Forbes.

U.S. Airlines Face A Critical Legislative And Regulatory Test In 2019

November 28, 2018

David Heffernan, co-chair of the firm's Aviation Team, authored the blog "U.S. Airlines Face A Critical Legislative and Regulatory Test in 2019" for Forbes.

'Comfort Animals' Do Not Belong In An Aircraft Cabin; Regulators May Act Soon To Address The Problem

November 13, 2018

David Heffernan, co-chair of the firm's Aviation Team, authored the blog "'Comfort Animals' Do Not Belong In An Aircraft Cabin; Regulators May Act Soon To Address The Problem" for Forbes.

FAA Reauthorization Briefing Part 1: Airline Fee Issues [Aviation Alert]

October 11, 2018

David Heffernan and Matthew Howell discuss provisions in the Reauthorization Act that affect airline fees, including some that were omitted from the final legislation but will likely continue to be considered in the future. This is the first in a three-part series on the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018

FAA Reauthorization Briefing Part 2: Disability-Related Passenger Rights [Aviation Alert]

October 11, 2018

David Heffernan and Robert F. Foster discuss provisions in the Reauthorization Act that affect airlines’ obligations to accommodate passengers with disabilities. This is the second in a three-part series discussing the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.

FAA Reauthorization Briefing Part 3: Consumer Protection [Aviation Alert]

October 11, 2018

David Heffernan and Robert F. Foster discuss provisions in the Reauthorization Act that affect air travelers. This is the third article in a three-part series on the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018

Time To Curb Abuse Of Air Travel 'Support Animal' Rules [Law360]

August 13, 2018

David Heffernan and Robert Foster, attorneys in the firm's Aviation Regulatory Practice, co-authored, "Time To Curb Abuse Of Air Travel 'Support Animal' Rules," for Law360.

May 2018 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions [Aviation Regulatory Update]

May 04, 2018

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of a five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, the FAA’s Airworthiness Directives requiring inspections of fan blades on CFM56-7B model engines as a result of last month’s Southwest Airlines engine incident, the Department of Transportation’s recent award of frequencies for new U.S.-Cuba air service, new DOT requirements for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)/drones to obtain DOT economic authority in the form of a Part 298 air taxi registration in order for commercial UAS/drone operators to operate air transportation services for hire, the Department of Homeland Security’s increase in the amount of civil penalties imposed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Government Accountability Office’s implementation of new electronic filing requirements for bid protests, and the latest DOT and FAA enforcement actions.

States Rev Up Drone Oversight [The Drone Report]

February 06, 2018

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Drone Report surveys proposed drone legislation in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont, and West Virginia and discusses recent drone regulatory developments at the federal level.

November 2017 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions

November 20, 2017

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses new restrictions on Cuba travel, DOT’s Small Community Air Service Development Grant Program, new DOT drug testing requirements for safety-sensitive transportation employees, the FAA’s proposed amendments to helicopter certification standards, the Bombardier aircraft trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada, and the latest DOT and FAA enforcement actions.

October 2017 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions

October 13, 2017

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses DOT’s and CBP’s comprehensive reviews of their regulations, Congress’ FAA reauthorization extension legislation, the FAA’s adoption of new Stage 5 airplane noise standards, GAO reports on airline ancillary service fees and TSA’s aviation security oversight, and the latest DOT and FAA enforcement actions.

September 2017 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions

September 08, 2017

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses DOT’s 2017 U.S.-Cuba Frequency Allocation Proceeding, the FAA’s elimination of requirements to obtain Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) authorization for aircraft equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS–B) Out systems, CBP’s extension of the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) pilot program, and the latest DOT and FAA enforcement actions.

DOT Issues Its Latest Status Update on Significant Pending Aviation-Related Rulemakings [Aviation Alert]

September 07, 2017

David Heffernan discusses the U.S. Department of Transportation recently issued Significant Rulemaking Report, the first such report released under the Trump administration.

July 2017 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions

July 10, 2017

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses the latest FAA reauthorization bills, the Department of Homeland Security’s enhanced aviation security measures, the DOT Inspector General’s audit reports regarding the FAA’s oversight of suspected unapproved parts and check pilot qualifications, the Department of Commerce’s investigations regarding aircraft imports from Canada, and the latest DOT and FAA enforcement actions.

US Regulation of Commercial Uses of Drones

July 06, 2017

David Heffernan and Jennifer Urban, of Cozen O'Connor's Transportation and Trade Group, published "US Regulation of Commercial Uses of Drones" for Expert Guides.

May 2017 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions

May 08, 2017

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses the FAA’s regulatory reform review, the FAA’s and PHMSA’s increases in civil penalty amounts, recent amendments of hazardous materials regulations, the Congressional oversight hearing on U.S. airlines’ customer service and contracts of carriage, and the latest DOT and FAA enforcement actions.

Congress Should Resist Legislating in Reaction to United Airlines’ Recent Passenger Bumping Incident [Aviation Alert]

April 26, 2017

David Heffernan discusses why the recent incident on United Airlines was an anomaly and not evidence of the need for additional legislation or regulations with industry-wide effect.

Drones: The Sky is no Longer the Limit for Water/Sewer Systems [PAAWWA]

April 24, 2017

David Heffernan, Michael Klein and Jennifer Urban discuss how drones will revolutionize the way water and sewer systems operate and the legal restrictions that accompany this new practice.

March 2017 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions

March 31, 2017

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses DOT’s tentative award of Mexico City slots, DHS/TSA’s prohibitions on the in-cabin carriage of certain personal electronic devices on nonstop flights to the U.S. from ten Middle Eastern and North African airports, DOT’s withdrawal and compliance deadline extensions for various consumer protection-related rules, GAO reports on the status of DHS’s biometric air exit system and FAA certification processes for aviation products, President Trump’s executive order on the reorganization of executive branch agencies, and the latest DOT and FAA enforcement actions.

President Trump’s Anti-Regulation Policy Could Undermine Aviation Industry [Aviation Daily]

February 14, 2017

David Heffernan and Jennifer Urban of the Aviation Regulatory group discuss current issues in aviation, due to the change in administration.

February 2017 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions

February 13, 2017

This edition discusses DOT’s final approval of antitrust immunity for Delta Air Lines and Aeromexico, DOT’s proceeding to reallocate some of Delta/Aeromexico’s Mexico City and JFK slots to other airlines, DOT’s proposed rule to require airlines and ticket agents to disclose baggage fees, the FAA’s final rule amending small aircraft airworthiness standards, new DOT training materials for airlines and their employees and contractors regarding compliance with Part 382 disabled passenger regulations, DHS’s increase of certain aviation-related civil penalties for violations of immigration and TSA rules, GAO criticism of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s predeparture programs, and the latest DOT and FAA enforcement actions.

How President Trump’s Anti-Regulation Policy Could Undermine Aviation Industry Interests [Aviation Alert]

February 06, 2017

David Heffernan and Jennifer Urban discuss how President Trump's recent executive order “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” and anti-regulation policy generally, could impact the aviation industry.

December 2016 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions

December 14, 2016

This edition discusses DOT’s proposed rule on the use of cell phones to make voice calls on commercial flights, the results of DOT’s negotiated rulemaking on accessible in-flight entertainment and accessible lavatories on single-aisle aircraft to accommodate disabled passengers, DOT’s approval of Norwegian Air International’s foreign air carrier permit, the FAA’s increase of overflight fees, PHMSA amendments to the Hazardous Materials Regulations, the DOT Inspector General’s audit report on FAA oversight of unmanned aircraft/drones and initiation of an audit of the FAA’s oversight of runway safety, DOT’s updated enforcement policy regarding extended tarmac delays, DOT’s denial of American Airlines and Qantas Airways’ request for antitrust immunity, the Justice Department’s clearance of the Alaska Airlines-Virgin America merger, and the latest DOT and FAA enforcement actions.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Drones ... Toy, Tool or Tort?

January 25, 2018 - Philadelphia, PA

US Corporate Aviation Summit

November 17, 2017 - Washington, D.C.

U.S. Regulation of the Airline Industry

November 10, 2017 - Webinar

PA AWWA 69th Annual Conference

April 25, 2017 - Hershey, PA

IATA Legal Symposium 2017

February 21, 2017 - Washington, D.C.

Industry Sectors

Education

  • Catholic University of America, J.D., summa cum laude, 1996
  • University College Dublin, M.B.S., 1988
  • Trinity College Dublin, B.A., 1985

Awards & Honors

Chambers & Partners USA: Transportation: Aviation Regulatory 2007-2021

Who's Who Legal: Transport-Aviation Regulatory

2015 Air Law Institute Inspiration Award: Law

JD Supra's Readers' Choice Awards Top Ten Author in the Airlines/Aviation Industry 2016-2019

Nominated for inclusion in Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Aviation Lawyers, 6th and 9th editions

Experts Guides: Aviation

The Legal 500 United States "Leading Lawyer" for Transport: Aviation and Air Travel in 2018-2021

  • District of Columbia
  • American Bar Association, Forum on Air & Space Law: Member, Strategic Planning Committee
  • American Bar Association, Forum on Air & Space Law: Program Chair, Annual Conference 2020
  • Member, International Aviation Club
  • Member, Aero Club of Washington