Aviation Regulatory

Recent News:

Cozen O’Connor Enhances its Aviation Practice with the Addition of Jonathon Foglia

He brings extensive experience counseling aviation industry clients on a wide range of regulatory and commercial matters.

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Regulation of the aviation industry is intense and unremitting. To achieve compliance and maximize economic performance, participants require dedicated aviation counsel. Now more than ever, given the regulatory implications the aviation industry faces in the shadow of COVID-19, counsel on the cutting edge is essential. Very few law firms support an aviation practice as diverse and far-reaching as Cozen O’Connor’s, which is also nationally ranked by Chambers and Partners USA in Aviation Regulatory.

The firm represents major U.S. and foreign passenger and cargo airlines, airline trade associations, airports, aircraft, engine and equipment manufacturers, aircraft lessors, international business aviation companies, air travel distribution companies, uncrewed aircraft system (drone) manufacturers, operators and associations, air/ground express delivery companies, and logistics specialists. Our attorneys also advise and represent large corporations, banks, private individuals, private equity funds, and other investors with aviation-related operations or transactions.

Cozen O’Connor advises clients on the full array of aviation laws and regulations, including those enforced by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Transportation Security Administration (TSA). More specifically, the firm advises on economic and code-sharing authority, international routes, frequencies and traffic rights, antitrust immunity, export controls and sanctions, air travel distribution, licensing and certification, private aviation, aircraft registration, taxes and fees, airport slots, rates and charges, consumer protection enforcement, safety and security, and compliance with ICAO standards. During the coronavirus pandemic, our team has been actively involved in advising major U.S. and foreign airlines and other aviation companies on a wide range of COVID-related issues, including those under the CARES Act.

Cozen O’Connor regularly assists with major aviation-related transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, alliances, joint ventures, sale and leasing of aircraft, aviation financings, and aircraft management and ownership agreements. Our finance attorneys support innovative cross-border deals and work closely with attorneys in the tax practice to develop innovative solutions.

As other firms move away from industry-specific practices, Cozen O’Connor has continued to invest in building a one-stop shop for aviation industry clients. With offices in 31 cities across two continents and attorneys with direct experience in aviation regulation, transactions, and litigation, Cozen O’Connor has the capacity to respond promptly and effectively to client needs no matter where they arise. The firm’s regulatory team has advised on landmark airline mergers and the formation of new air carriers, the development of federal rules on aircraft safety and security, and the reorganization and management of airlines in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Another distinguishing feature of Cozen O’Connor is that we operate a bipartisan government relations group based in Washington, D.C. Our skilled government affairs team represents clients before all three branches of the U.S. federal government and various state bodies. Key members of the Public Strategies group have direct aviation industry experience, including a former general counsel to the U.S. Export-Import Bank and former deputy staff director of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Indeed, our aviation practice as a whole is staffed by longtime leaders of the aviation bar, including a member of U.S. delegations to international air transport agreement negotiations, the editor of leading treatises on aviation law in the U.S. and Europe, and the editor-in-chief of The Air & Space Lawyer, a quarterly publication of the American Bar Association. Cozen O’Connor prides itself on staffing matters leanly with seasoned attorneys and other professionals who can provide sophisticated, cost-effective service.

Experience

Publications

FAA Declines to Extend COVID-19 Relief at U.S. Slot-Controlled and IATA Level 2 U.S. Airports [Alert]

November 02, 2022

The FAA will not extend its COVID-19 related relief policy for U.S. slot-controlled & FAA-designated International Air Transport Association Level 2 airports.

FAA Issues Final Rule Increasing Mandatory Flight Attendant Rest Periods [Alert]

October 14, 2022

The FAA's rule requires that flight attendants receive a rest period of at least 10 consecutive hours between periods of duty lasting 14 hours or less.

FAA Modifies International Aviation Safety Assessment Program [Alert]

October 03, 2022

The FAA announced several key changes to its International Aviation Safety Assessment program.

DOT Issues Airline Ancillary Fee Proposal [Alert]

September 28, 2022

The U.S. DOT will consider a proposed rule to ensure that consumers have certain ancillary fee information at the time of ticket purchase.

Barriers to Entry: FAA Proposes Flight deck Physical Secondary Barriers [Alert]

August 15, 2022

The FAA proposes rule to require new aircraft be outfitted with installed physical secondary barriers to further protect the flight deck from intrusion.

DOT Issues Proposed Rule on Airline Ticket Refunds [Alert]

August 08, 2022

The Department of Transportation issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, titled Airline Ticket Refunds and Consumer Protections.

DOT Issues Bill of Rights for Airline Passengers with Disabilities; New Airline Family Seating Notice [Alert]

July 12, 2022

The U.S. DOT has published a Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights which describes the fundamental rights of air travelers with disabilities.

Airlines Applaud Lifting of COVID Testing Requirement for U.S. Arrivals [Alert]

June 23, 2022

The CDC rescinded the COVID-19 testing requirement for U.S. arriving passengers on June 15. Airlines for America welcomed the CDC's decision.

TSA Releases Five-Year Air Cargo Security Roadmap [Alert]

January 05, 2022

Rachel Welford discusses TSA's recently releases Air Cargo Security Roadmap.

U.S. Government Requires COVID-19 Vaccination for Foreign Visitors Arriving by Air; Modifies Pre-Departure Testing and Data Collection Requirements [Alert]

October 28, 2021

Jonathon Foglia and Rachel Welford discuss the president's proclamation and the CDC's orders that impose additional restrictions and documentary requirements on airlines and other air operators, passengers, and crew members to combat the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Biden’s Competition EO Mandates Scrutiny of Airline Practices [Alert]

July 12, 2021

Jonathon Foglia and Rachel Welford discuss President Biden's executive order to promote competition across the U.S. economy.

TSA “Secured Packing Facility” Program Will Facilitate Compliance with New Cargo Screening Requirements [Alert]

June 22, 2021

Rachel Welford discusses the TSA's new Secured Packing Facility program designed to help ease the burden of complying with new cargo screening requirements.

DHS Again Postpones REAL ID Deadline [Alert]

April 29, 2021

Rachel Welford discusses DHS's extension of the REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023.

U.S. Airlines, Aviation Contractors to Receive Additional $15 Billion Under American Rescue Plan Act [Alert]

March 15, 2021

Rachel Welford and Katie Sobotta discuss the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that provides much-needed relief to airlines for the continuation of employee wages, salaries, and benefits.

A Delicate Balancing Act for Airlines: the CDC Mask Mandate v. the Rights of Passengers with Disabilities [Alert]

February 16, 2021

Mark Atwood discusses the CDC, DOT, and TSA's orders and notices requiring all passengers to wear masks but also allowing exceptions for persons with disabilities, and what air carriers should do in the next couple of weeks to determine how to thread this needle.

CDC Requires COVID-19 Testing of International Passenger Arrivals in the United States [Alert]

January 15, 2021

Rachel Welford and Kathryn Sobotta discuss the CDC's new notice and order requiring pre-departure negative COVID-19 tests from all U.S.-bound passengers traveling by aircraft from any foreign country.

Congress Provides Additional $15 Billion in COVID-Related Payroll Support Funding for U.S. Airlines

December 23, 2020

Congress has passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, a comprehensive $900 billion COVID relief stimulus package and $1.4 trillion omnibus bill.

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/HHS/DHS Issue Joint COVID-19 Guidance to Airlines and Airports

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.”

TSA Has Legal Authority to Conduct Air Passenger Temperature Screenings [Alert]

May 20, 2020

Rachel Welford discusses how and why TSA should begin temperature screenings.

DOT Issues New Guidance Regarding Airlines’ Obligation to Provide Passenger Refunds [Alert]

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.

FAA Issues Guidance for Airlines to Carry Cargo in Passenger Cabin

April 20, 2020

Rachel Welford discusses the FAA's guidance for passenger airlines contemplating using empty apace in their aircraft to transport cargo.

TSA Explores Ways to Streamline International Air Cargo Screening [Alert]

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.

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.

CARES Act Suspends Air Transportation Federal Excise Tax

April 06, 2020

Steve Haas discusses the suspension of the FET and what jet cardholders and customers of on-demand charters should do.

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.

DOT Clarifies its Enforcement Policy Regarding Coronavirus [Alert]

March 06, 2020

Rachel Welford discusses DOT's “Enforcement Notice Regarding Denying Boarding by Airlines of Individuals Suspected of Having Coronavirus.”

U.S. Department of Transportation Proposes to Define “Unfair and Deceptive Practices” [Alert]

March 04, 2020

Mark Atwood discusses the February 28, 2020, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

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.

The United States Fines an Aircraft Lessor for the Actions of a Sublessee

December 02, 2019

It will hardly come as a surprise to readers that air transportation and the trade in aircraft and parts is inherently international. Thus, participants in these industries have to keep an unblinking eye on the increasingly ubiquitous international regimes of trade and economic sanctions that apply to a wide variety of economic activities.

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.

TSA Adopts Alternative Approach to Enforcement Against Airlines and Other Regulated Entities

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.

OFAC Issues Iran-Related Civil Aviation Industry Advisory

July 30, 2019

Don Kassilke and Bob Foster discuss OFAC's Iran-Related Civil Aviation Industry Advisory and why it could mean OFAC will be taking a greater interest in the Iranian aviation sector.

It’s Alive – Trump Administration Resurrects Helms-Burton Title III

April 24, 2019

Don Kassilke and Matthew Howell discuss what the implementation of Title III means in practical terms and how it could impact entities trading with Cuba.

Space Regulations: To Boldly Go … Or Lightly Tread

February 06, 2019

Bill Walsh discusses why reconciling SPD-2 and SPD-3 through the new rulemaking process could likely prove beneficial to the commercial space industry.

California Federal Court Declares Drones are Aircraft [Alert]

January 18, 2019

William Walsh discusses the decision in Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company v. Hollycal Production, Inc and what it could mean for the future of drone law.

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.

United States and United Kingdom Conclude Major New Bilateral Air Transport Agreement [Alert]

December 11, 2018

Mark W. Atwood and Robert F. Foster discuss the smooth transition of post-Brexit air transport rights for the U.S.-UK trans-Atlantic market, which traditionally has been the busiest sector for air traffic between the United States and Europe as a whole.

Split Third Circuit Decision Revives Claims Arising From Fatal 2005 Cessna Crash

November 09, 2018

Robert L. Bowman and Robert F. Foster discuss the Third Circuit's decision in Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp., that held state-law claims brought against an aircraft engine manufacturer were not conflict preempted by federal law. This decision places equipment manufacturers and other defendants at greater risk of being held liable for state law-based accident claims and other related cases.

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 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 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.

In The News

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O’Connor Practice Areas and 14 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2022 Legal Guide

July 11, 2022

For 30 years, The Legal 500 has assessed the strengths of law firms in more than 100 jurisdictions. The rankings use a series of criteria, including client feedback, submissions from law firms, and interviews with leading private practice lawyers.

Chambers Ranks 86 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 22 Practice Areas in Chambers USA 2022 Guide

June 02, 2022

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 86 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2022 edition.

Cozen O'Connor Adds Former KMA Transportation Partner To DC Office

June 09, 2021

Jonathon Foglia was featured in an article published by Law360 that discusses his move to Cozen O'Connor.

Cozen O’Connor Enhances its Aviation Practice with the Addition of Jonathon Foglia

June 01, 2021

He brings extensive experience counseling aviation industry clients on a wide range of regulatory and commercial matters.

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.

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.

Aviation Industry Attorney Rachel Welford Returns to Cozen O’Connor’s Transportation and Trade Group

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.

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.

Contacts

David Heffernan

Chair, Transportation & Trade

dheffernan@cozen.com

(202) 463-2537

Mark W. Atwood

Member

matwood@cozen.com

(202) 463-2513

People

Awards

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O’Connor Practice Areas and 14 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2022 Legal Guide

July 11, 2022

For 30 years, The Legal 500 has assessed the strengths of law firms in more than 100 jurisdictions. The rankings use a series of criteria, including client feedback, submissions from law firms, and interviews with leading private practice lawyers.

Chambers Ranks 86 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 22 Practice Areas in Chambers USA 2022 Guide

June 02, 2022

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 86 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2022 edition.

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.

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.

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