Transport: aviation and air travel - regulation in United States

Cozen O'Connor

Cozen O'Connor handles a range of aviation-related regulatory licensing and compliance issues for US and international aviation and aerospace clients. A key figure in the team is David Heffernan, who represents major US and foreign airlines and their trade associations, airports, air travel distribution companies, and aircraft, engine and other equipment manufacturers before various government agencies. Heffernan is advising Airlines for America (A4A) and its member airlines in relation to the Trump administration’s regulatory reform initiative, which aims to review federal regulations for potential reduction or elimination. Additionally, Heffernan is advising Alaska Airlines on regulatory issues arising from litigation involving access to gates and related facilities at Dallas Love Field Airport. Also recommended is Mark Atwood, who assisted Silver Airways with obtaining US government contracts under the Essential Air Service Program for scheduled service to smaller US communities. Associate Robert Foster joined in 2018 from Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

The ‘exceptional’ Washington DC-based practice at Hogan Lovells US LLP is active across the full range of aviation regulatory work and is particularly noted for its experience in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) regulation. Global head of aviation Robert Cohn advised Delta Air Lines on obtaining DOT approval and grant of antitrust immunity for an amended joint venture between Delta and its partners Air France, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic. Senior counsel Ted Ellett is acting Kitty Hawk and its division Zee Aero on FAA regulatory matters in relation to plans to develop small eVTOL aircraft for single and multiple passengers. Cohn and counsel Patrick Rizzi serve as aviation regulatory counsel to Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, which they advise on DOT and FAA licensing and compliance issues as well as trade compliance matters. Lisa Ellman is chair of the firm's UAS practice and is acting for Alphabet's Wing Aviation in relation to its development of next generation delivery drones and its efforts to develop an unmanned airspace traffic management platform. Senior counsel George Carneal and senior associate Matthew Clark are also key figures. Counsel Laura Ponto joined in 2018 from an in-house role.

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP handles a range of regulatory compliance matters, investigations, enforcement proceedings and licensing matters for airlines, technology companies, aerospace manufacturers, repair companies, airport operators, online travel companies, aircraft owners, and drone stakeholders. Global aviation chair Kenneth Quinn and Jennifer Trock, who co-chairs the UAS focus team with Quinn, are key figures in the practice group. Associate Graham Keithley is also recommended. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP has ‘an extraordinary team of experienced aviation lawyers’, who handle a range of regulatory matters across the aviation and aerospace sector. Marc Warren provides regulatory advice to several companies seeking to conduct commercial UAS operations and recently advised two NFL teams - the Los Angeles Rams and the Las Vegas Raiders - on obtaining FAA approval to build new stadiums near major airports. Cargo Airline Association, UPS Airlines, NetJets and Regional Airline Association (RAA) are also clients. Warren, Thomas Newton Bolling and Abby Bried jointly lead the team. Special counsels Paul Alp and Amna Arshad are also recommended. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP has experience of regulatory mandates including administrative adjudications, air service negotiations, antitrust, export licensing, customs and tax matters, airline safety, aircraft certification, and accident investigations. Head of travel, leisure and hospitality Josh Romanow represented Norwegian Air International and Norwegian Air UK before the Department of Transportation, FAA and US Court of Appeals in its efforts to begin scheduled operations to the US. Charles Donley, who heads the aviation, aerospace and UAS practice, advised a major Chinese air carrier in an ongoing Department of Transportation investigation pertaining to advertising, marketing policies and website compliance. Senior counsel Edward Sauer, Los Angeles-based employment partner Thomas Liu, senior counsel James Dick, and special counsel Laura Jennings are also key contacts. Named individuals are based in Washington DC unless otherwise noted.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Steptoe & Johnson LLP handles a wide range of regulatory work in the aviation sector, and is particularly well known for its experience of UAS regulations. Key contacts include William Karas, who handles regulation and antitrust mandates, Carol Gosain, Dane Jaques and David Coburn. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Thompson Hine LLP

The Washington DC-based team at Thompson Hine LLP has ‘extensive knowledge’ of the aviation sector and is praised for its ability to take ‘a reasonable approach to every situation’. It acts for numerous domestic and international airlines, such as Aer Lingus and American Airlines, in a range of regulatory mandates, and regularly appears before government agencies. Senior counsel Brent Connor is noted for his experience in export control, and associate Jason Tutrone is also recommended.