Rachel 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 returned 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.
August 20, 2020
Best Lawyers selected 201 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (Copyright 2020 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).
April 08, 2019
Rachel Welford has returned to the firm’s Transportation & Trade Group. She joins Cozen O’Connor from American Airlines, where she served as the director of security and government affairs.
February 05, 2016
All of the largest global airlines have some presence in the U.S., subjecting them to a range of legal, regulatory and business challenges that require law firm expertise. While that work is often spread around, six firms have been chosen by the industry as go-to firms for major legal matters, including Cozen O'Connor.
September 30, 2020
Rachel Welford discusses the bipartisan bill that would require TSA to conduct temperature checks on all passengers and other individuals seeking entry to an airport’s sterile area.
September 29, 2020
Don Kassilke and Rachel Welford discuss OFAC's amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) to further restrict U.S. engagement with Cuba in order to deny revenue to the Cuban regime.
July 06, 2020
On July 2, 2020, the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services issued a joint guidance document titled “Runway to Recovery- the United States Framework for Airlines and Airports to Mitigate the Public Health Risks of Coronavirus.”
May 20, 2020
Rachel Welford discusses how and why TSA should begin temperature screenings.
May 13, 2020
Rachel Welford discusses DOT's guidance for airline carriers operating flights to, from, and within in the United States on when it is necessary to offer ticketed passengers refunds.
April 20, 2020
Rachel Welford discusses the FAA's guidance for passenger airlines contemplating using empty apace in their aircraft to transport cargo.
April 15, 2020
Rachel Welford discusses the TSA's RFI soliciting input from the air cargo industry regarding new international screening standards for air cargo.
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.
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.
March 26, 2020
Rachel Welford explains why DHS postponed REAL ID compliance to October 1, 2021.
March 06, 2020
Rachel Welford discusses DOT's “Enforcement Notice Regarding Denying Boarding by Airlines of Individuals Suspected of Having Coronavirus.”
February 19, 2020
Rachel Welford discusses the GAO's recommendations to the TSA for combatting insider threats at U.S. airports.
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.
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.
September 09, 2019
How do you create a regulatory framework that sustains the highest levels of aviation security through “shared outcomes”? The Transportation Security Administration’s new Action Plan Program (APP) seeks to answer that essential question.
October 19, 2016
Don Kassilke and Rachel Welford discuss a change in OFAC policy and regulations that expands opportunities for U.S. persons to explore and develop business relationships in Cuba.
October 14, 2016
Don Kassilke and Rachel Welford discuss the much anticipated executive order formally terminating U.S. sanctions against Burma.
September 23, 2016
This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses DOT’s selection of carriers to operate U.S.-Havana and U.S.-Tokyo (Haneda) air services, the FAA’s implementation of its small unmanned aircraft systems/drone rules, new increases in DOT civil penalty amounts, the FAA’s draft PFC order, GAO’s reporting on FAA oversight of repair stations, and the latest DOT and FAA enforcement actions.
August 08, 2016
This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses new FAA reauthorization legislation, DOT awards for U.S. carrier scheduled service to Cuba, DOT’s decision to address consumer notification requirements regarding changes in airline frequent flyer program rules, and more.
June 23, 2016
David Heffernan and Rachel Welford discuss the FAA's long awaited final rule regarding the certification and commercial operation of small unmanned aircraft systems in U.S. airspace.
March 22, 2016
Don Kassilke and Rachel Welford discuss the latest amendments, which became effective March 16, 2016, further ease sanctions in the areas of travel, banking and shipping, among others.
February 01, 2016
This edition includes the recently signed U.S.-Mexico bilateral agreement that liberalizes air services between the two countries, new Cuba-related regulations loosening restrictions on U.S.-Cuba air services and the export and reexport of U.S.-origin aircraft to Cuba, changes to the Visa Waiver Program, proposed dates for upcoming DOT aviation-related rulemakings, the DOT Office of the Inspector General’s reports criticizing FAA operations, oversight, cost controls and air traffic control staffing, DOT animal incident reporting guidance, new FAA Stage 5 aircraft noise standards, DHS implementation of REAL ID requirements for air travelers, and the latest DOT and FAA enforcement actions.
December 22, 2015
Under a general license issued earlier this month, all trade-related transactions that are ordinarily incident to an exportation to or from Burma of goods, technology, or non-financial services are authorized, provided the exportation is not to, from, or on behalf of a person or entity on the SDN list.
December 21, 2015
This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update includes looming revisions to the Visa Waiver Program, DOT’s plans for an additional round of new regulations on disabled passenger-related issues, the FAA’s new registration requirements for small unmanned aircraft systems/drones, DOT guidance on airline liability for damage to components of checked baggage, Congressional bills on Export-Import Bank reauthorization, pilots’ rights, and Visa Waiver Program Changes, the status of FAA reauthorization legislation, the FAA’s updated airspace obstruction standards, and recent FAA enforcement actions.
December 21, 2015
The U.S. State Department said that under the deal, U.S. airlines could operate up to 110 round-trip flights per day between the United States and Cuba as soon as 2016, which includes 20 flights to Havana and 10 to each of the other nine international airports in Cuba.
December 10, 2015
The following post was written by Rachel Welford, an associate in the Cozen O'Connor Aviation Regulatory Practice Group.
The White House is proposing changes to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) as well as enhanced security measures that would tighten the entry requirements for U.S.-bound alien...
November 13, 2015
This edition discusses the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against United Airlines and Delta Air Lines seeking to block the carriers’ proposed slot swap at Newark, DOT’s ban on electronic smoking devices in checked baggage, DOT and the FAA’s planned registration requirements for drones/unmanned aircraft, the FAA’s new safety compliance philosophy, new FAA rules on production certificates and approvals, APHIS final rules on agricultural quarantine and inspection services, a Congressional hearing on TSA security oversight, and the latest DOT and FAA enforcement actions.
October 20, 2015
Beginning on October 18, 2015, JCPOA participants will start taking the steps necessary to implement their JCPOA commitments.
October 02, 2015
This edition reports on Congress’s six-month extension of FAA’s reauthorization; new U.S. Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreements with the European Union and Canada; the FAA’s final rule on the disclosure of aircraft seat dimensions to facilitate the use of child safety seats on airplanes; DOT’s latest small community air service development grants; the Treasury and Commerce Departments’ new amendments to the Cuba Sanctions Regulations.
September 28, 2015
These regulatory changes build on earlier revisions published in January 2015 and further ease sanctions related to authorized travel, telecommunications, Internet-based services, business operations in Cuba, and remittances. They do not, however, lift the sanctions, and most prohibitions remain in place.
August 24, 2015
DOT’s launch of an investigation of alleged price gouging by airlines following Amtrak train service disruption in the Northeast Corridor, the agency’s continuing review of the Delta/Aeromexico antitrust immunity application, DOT’s and the Departments of State and Commerce’s ongoing review of subsidy allegations brought by the three largest U.S. carriers against Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways.
July 02, 2015
An update on the multi-agency review of U.S. carrier allegations of subsidy against three gulf carriers, recent applications for antitrust immunity for airline alliances, EPA’s initial action to address greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft, DHS amendments to the ESTA program and planned expansion of customs and immigration preclearance facilities at additional foreign airports, Congressional hearings on FAA reauthorization, aviation security and drone operations, and recent DOT and FAA enforcement actions.