Few businesses and individuals are challenged by more governmental regulation than those involved in aviation. It is not nearly enough to be supported by talented attorneys. Particularized knowledge of the practical side of aviation is required. We are fortunate to have as a member of our aviation team, an attorney who is a former airline pilot. Our practice is also benefited by experienced transactional and tax attorneys. Additionally, if the need for litigation arises, our firm has a significant amount of trial experience.
On aviation matters the firm has represented 135 operators, insurance companies, airports, other companies in the aviation industry, buyers and sellers of aircraft and high net worth individuals. Further, the firm has lectured at industry attended events and also provided instruction and training to other attorneys.
Operations: The Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) that apply to companies engaged in Parts 121, 135 and 145 operations are complex. Charting a course through this maze can be daunting. Our attorneys can work with you providing advice and counsel to achieving your goals. The value of having an experienced airline pilot on your side who is well versed in the FARs cannot be overstated.
Transactions Involving the Purchase and Sale of Aviation Business: Transactions involving the acquisition or disposition of an aviation business are unique in that certain types of transactions require FAA approval. With our in depth background of the FARs we can help buyers or sellers navigate through the approval process. Moreover, identifying the most efficient structure for an aviation business to utilize can be just as complex once federal and state tax laws are added to the mix. Our transaction and tax attorneys have decades of experience guiding clients to efficient structures that minimize the reach of taxes without incurring undue risk. We can bring that wealth of experience to bear in any situation, regardless of the size of the transaction. Members of our team have worked on numerous transactions, including one of the largest mergers between two of the nation’s airlines.
Transactions Involving the Purchase and Sale of Aircraft: Transactions involving the purchase or sale of aircraft typically involve the exchange of significant sums of money and these transactions have aspects that are unique to the purchase and sale of other assets. We have represented numerous clients on the purchase and sale of aircraft and know where the pitfalls are in these transactions and how to best to avoid them and protect our client’s interests.
Violations: If the FAA launches an enforcement action against you individually or your company, that can result in monetary penalties or the revocation, suspension or modification of your company’s certificate. Our attorneys, who have previously represented clients in their dealings with the FAA, can represent you in defending against an FAA enforcement action. Our goal is to be involved in the process at the earliest possible stage to help shape the outcome and avoid a finding of a violation. If you or your company has already received an adverse ruling in an FAA enforcement action, we can represent you in your appeal to the NTSB and the Courts.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): UAS are becoming widespread in a variety of industries from marketing, real estate to commercial pipe line inspections. The FAA has implemented a regulatory scheme that applies to commercial drone operations for drones under 55 pounds known as FAR Part 107. Separate laws exist for drones over 55 pounds. Regardless of the size of the drone you use in your commercial operations, we can assist you in obtaining the certificates and authorizations you need from the FAA for your operations and also advise you on your compliance responsibilities. Moreover, what many drone operators may not realize is that when flying their drone they may easily enter federally regulated airspace. There can be severe monetary penalties for not complying with the regulations applicable to air space and, for some violations, prison sentences. One of our aviation attorneys is a former airline pilot who is very familiar with the airspace rules from his commercial flying days and can advise your operation on airspace law so that your team can be educated and avoid a severe monetary penalty or the loss of your operating certificate.
Accidents: While all operators plan to avoid an accident or incident, unfortunately they do occur. Our attorneys can represent you in dealing with the NTSB in making the required reports and notification to the NTSB and in dealing with the NTSB during its investigation.
Aviation Litigation: Litigation involving aircraft is complex and high stakes because of the amount of money at risk. In aviation litigation, the firm represents its clients with the expertise of its attorneys that were former prosecutors along with an attorney that was a former airline pilot. Having a former airline pilot can be invaluable in litigation as it brings real world experience flying complex aircraft. Additionally, in any litigation, while we strive to resolve disputes early on, it is important for your adversary to recognize that if the need arises the firm will take the case to trial spearheaded by a skilled former prosecutor who is part of the firm’s aviation team.