Rachel Welford concentrates her practice on aviation regulatory matters and brings substantial capabilities to clients in the area of aviation security law and policy involving U.S. government agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). She represents airlines, airports, and other regulated entities before TSA on civil enforcement actions as well as counsels regulated entities on compliance with TSA security regulations. Rachel also advises clients on the legal and business ramifications of evolving TSA and CBP legislative and regulatory changes as well as transactional matters with an aviation security nexus.
As part of her broader aviation practice, Rachel counsels major aviation companies and entities on the increasingly complex safety and economic regulatory measures promulgated by domestic and international regulatory bodies. She also advises U.S. and foreign airlines on strategies for compliance with consumer protection and aviation safety laws implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration and helps clients secure economic and code sharing authority and international frequencies from the DOT.
Additionally, Rachel counsels enterprises through aviation regulatory issues concerning mergers and acquisitions, licensing and certification, and briefs clients on due diligence and other considerations associated with multi-million-dollar commercial aviation transactions. She has experience with appealing FAA regulatory actions, including denials of airman medical certificates, and advises clients on transactional issues associated with aviation assets.
Rachel returns to Cozen O’Connor after serving as the director of security and government affairs at American Airlines. She was also an associate attorney in the Aviation and Corporate Practice groups at an Am Law 200 law firm in Washington, D.C., where she advised high net worth individuals on FAA regulations pertaining to personal use of business aircraft and provided counsel on the regulatory landscape surrounding commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems. Prior to attending law school, Rachel was a Corporate Communications specialist at Delta Air Lines. She has also held positions at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), Airlines for America (A4A), and Spirit Airlines.
Rachel earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from George Mason University School of Law with a concentration in National Security Law and Policy. She received her Bachelor of Arts with high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, in political science and organizational studies from the University of Michigan. Rachel serves as Young Lawyer Chair to the American Bar of the American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space Law and is a member of Women in Aviation International. She prefers a window over an aisle seat.