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. More
Regulation of the aviation industry is intense and unremitting. To achieve compliance and maximize economic performance, participants require dedicated aviation counsel. 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, air travel distribution companies, unmanned aircraft systems (drone) manufacturers and operators, air/ground express delivery companies, and logistics specialists. Our attorneys also represent large corporations, banks, private equity funds, and other investors with aviation-related operations or transactions.
Cozen O’Connor attorneys advise clients on the full array of laws and regulations, including those enforced by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration (TSA). More specifically, the firm advises on economic and code-sharing authority, international frequencies and routes, antitrust immunity, export controls and sanctions, air travel distribution, licensing and certification, taxes and fees, airport slots, rates and charges, consumer enforcement, and safety and security. 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 24 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 U.S. 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, the aviation practice as a whole is staffed by longtime leaders of the aviation bar, including members of U.S. delegations to international air transport agreement negotiations, the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Tort and Insurance Practice’s Aviation & Space Committee, 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 who can provide sophisticated, cost-effective service.
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.
April 21, 2016
Rachel Welford discusses the the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, passed by the Senate, that would authorize funding for programs under the FAA through September 2017.
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.
January 15, 2016
Rachel Welford discusses the FAA's new Stage 5 aircraft noise standards for certain subsonic jet airplanes and subsonic transport category large airplanes. Comments on the proposed rule are due by April 13, 2016.
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 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 04, 2015
The changes, proposed in the aftermath of the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, contemplate greater scrutiny of travelers under the VWP, as well as other security changes that could significantly increase costs and operational burdens for airlines.
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.
November 02, 2015
“Department of Transportation’s ‘Aggressive’ Approach to Consumer Protection Regulation and Enforcement,” by David Heffernan, published in the Journal of Air Law and Commerce, Vol. 80, No. 2 (2015).
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.
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.
August 03, 2015
Barry Boss, Stephen Miller, and Rebecca Brodey discuss the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s latest investigation – airline capacity restrictions.
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.
May 12, 2015
Until now, the DOT’ has generally required airlines honor fares once a consumer purchased the fare, even if such fares were inadvertently offered for sale. Now, the DOT will not enforce the prohibition against airlines increasing fares post-purchase when such fares are mistakenly offered.
April 15, 2015
This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update includes an overview of the FAA’s new contract maintenance rules, DOT and FAA notices on flight prohibitions in conflict zones, the latest news on the integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System, Congressional hearings on FAA reauthorization and air traffic control modernization, and DOT and FAA enforcement actions.
April 08, 2015
The IASA Category 1 rating means that India’s civil aviation authority once again fully complies with the safety oversight standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations’ technical agency for international civil aviation. India had previously been rated by the FAA as a Category 1 country in August 1997 but was downgraded to Category 2 in 2012 after an FAA audit identified certain safety oversight deficiencies.
February 24, 2015
This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update includes an overview of the FAA’s long-awaited proposed rule on small unmanned aircraft commercial operations, the White House’s statement on privacy issues relating to unmanned aircraft, recent Congressional hearings on FAA reauthorization and unmanned aircraft, the DOT Inspector General’s review of DOT’s tarmac delay rule, DOT and ITC actions with regard to U.S.-Cuba air travel, DOT’s clarification of carriers’ animal incident reporting requirements, and DOT and FAA enforcement actions.
January 20, 2015
Highlights of this edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update include the FAA’s recent rulemakings involving New York area airport slots and safety management systems for U.S. Part 121 air carriers, developments relating to unmanned aircraft, and DOT and FAA enforcement actions.
December 11, 2014
This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update provides an overview of recent FAA regulatory initiatives involving crew pairing, alcohol and drug testing rates, the use of aviation fuel taxes by airports and state governments, airport environmental grants, and de-icing standards for new aircraft. We also provide an update on recent DOT and FAA enforcement actions, plus recent developments in the Pirker v. Huerta case involving the operation of small unmanned aircraft. Additionally, Congress is beginning its deliberations regarding next year’s FAA reauthorization. Finally, two new lawsuits were filed challenging certain airports’ implementation of labor-related rules that airlines and airport service providers contend are preempted under federal law.
October 27, 2014
The October edition of the Aviation Regulatory Update includes an ppdate on DOT’s Passenger Protection Rulemaking #3, NextGen, ebola, drones, Enforcement Actions, security fees and other aviation regulatory matters
October 09, 2014
David Heffernan of Transportation & Logistics in Washington, DC has edited a special issue of the American Bar Association’s Air & Space Lawyer publication focusing on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s pending rule making on airline “passenger protections.”
September 18, 2014
This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update covers DOT action on Norwegian Air International’s application to serve the U.S., Congress’ and DOT’s continuing focus on airline ancillary service fees and consumer protection, new enforcement actions by DOT and FAA, and proposed changes to federal agency regulations and policies affecting the aviation industry.
August 22, 2014
The August edition of the Aviation Regulatory Update including updates on extension of comments periods, new enforcement actions, the FAA's legal interpretation prohibiting universities from using their Certificate of Waiver or Authorization to train students to fly drones, new regulations for transportation of lithium cells and batteries, and more.
July 21, 2014
On Capitol Hill, legislators are working to pass a Transportation Appropriations bill that will fund aviation programs during the 2015 fiscal year. As part of the appropriations process, members of the House and Senate are looking at a number of amendments that impact aviation. This includes continuing debate on limiting the Department of Transportation’s ability to approve the controversial application filed by Norwegian Airlines International (reported in last month’s Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update) to operate to the United States and whether to allow Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport to impose a nighttime curfew on airline operations.
June 16, 2014
It has been a busy month at the Department of Transportation, with the DOT finally releasing its long-anticipated proposed rule on Transparency of Airline Ancillary Fees and Other Consumer Protection Issues, better known as Passenger Protection Rulemaking #3 or PP3. DOT also issued a Show Cause Order tentatively approving IATA’s Resolution 787 to establish a “new distribution capability” for air travel distribution. On Capitol Hill, the House passed the 2015 Transportation Appropriations bill, including an amendment that could have the effect of preventing DOT from approving the controversial application filed by Norwegian Airlines International for authority to begin operating to the United States.
March 01, 2013
David Heffernan of the Transportation & Logistics Department, co-edited the Cologne Compendium on Air Law in Europe. The book is the collective work of 80 collaborators who are active in private legal practice, universities and government administrations as well as in the various sectors of the aviation industry such as airlines and airports.
April 19, 2010
This Spring edition highlights many pertinent issues confronting a business owner
in the 21st century. In the wake of unprecedented economic trouble, our lead article
discusses how to protect your business from preference exposure when a customer
April 01, 2009
Commentary: The Flight to Access - Risk & Insurance - With more and more frequency, possibly due to personnel cutbacks and more attention focused on legitimate security concerns,
courts are seeing actions brought by disabled
passengers alleging discrimination,
exacerbation of a physical injury, mental
anguish and distress, and even punitive
damages as a result of what has been
perceived as either the inability or
unwillingness to deal with the specific needs
of disabled passengers.
January 01, 2009
Flying Through Squabbles of the Turbulent - Risk and Insurance Online -
November 01, 2008
The Admissibility of Other Incidents in Aviation Products Liability Cases - International Association of Defense Counsel - Typical law school evidence courses include only a cursory examination of the admissibility of “other acts”,1 and even then, it is usually in the context of criminal cases under FED R. EVID. 404(b). And, indeed, the federal rules and case law are well-established when dealing with the government’s efforts to use evidence of other acts against a criminal defendant. But in civil matters—products liability cases in particular—the rules are less clear. So it is
October 01, 2008
International Litigation: The U.S. Jurisdiction To Prescribe and the Doctrine Of Forum Non Conveniens - The Federal Lawyer - Since the 1945 decision by Judge learned hand in United States v. Aluminum Co. of America (colloquially known as the "Alcoa" case), it has become well-established law that the Sherman Antitrust Act-legislation that was adopted over 100 years ago-applies to and prohibits conduct in foreign countries if that conduct has an illegal "effect" in the United States. The very important issue today is the extent to which the