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Aviation

Our firm has an active and highly regarded aviation practice, encompassing virtually every aspect of aviation law. We represent a wide variety of clients on diverse local, state, domestic, and international aviation matters; handle aviation matters throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States for both foreign and domestic clients; and litigate on behalf of aviation clients in courts throughout the Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Many of our lawyers are leading practitioners in their field and are active participants in numerous aviation-related professional associations. Our lawyers are admitted to practice in numerous jurisdictions and have a wealth of experience in the aviation transactional and enforcement fields.

Airlines and Charter Operators

We have extensive experience representing domestic and international airlines on nearly every kind of legal and legislative issue faced by airlines. Our clients have included international, national, regional, and commuter airlines; air taxi operators; and cargo air carriers. Our range of airline issues includes:

  • Corporate, business, and finance, including corporate structure; securities; antitrust representation on behalf of air couriers, with a particular emphasis on joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions; federal and state taxation; real estate; commercial and insurance defense, litigation on behalf of insured air carriers; labor, collective bargaining, and employment discrimination; bankruptcy; antitrust; domestic and international aircraft and engine acquisitions, financing, and sales; complex leveraged and operating lease arrangements; leasing and financing transactions involving commercial passenger and cargo aircraft; export licensing and aircraft securitization transactions.

  • Antitrust, including Department of Justice clearance of mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures; federal and state civil and criminal investigations; civil litigation; third party opposition to other parties’ proposed joint ventures and transactions.

  • Environmental, noise, and airport access, including access to federally slot-controlled and locally restricted airports; off- and on-airport real estate and facilities development and financing; environmental matters and noise litigation (including federal and state hazardous waste enforcement proceedings and preventative environmental audits).

  • Outsourcing

  • Slots and routes

Corporate and General Aviation

Acting as counsel for aviation operations of major corporations and for private individuals, both foreign and domestic, our lawyers advise in connection with virtually every aspect of their aviation needs. In the United States, we have significant experience in reviewing and structuring Part 91 operations and interacting with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in connection with private aircraft operations, including RVSM issues and MMEL letters of authorization. Our aviation lawyers have assisted clients in connection with:

  • Aircraft purchase

  • Leasing and financing

  • Fractional interests

  • Aircraft interchange and timesharing agreements

  • Aircraft management agreements

  • Hangar development

  • Aviation-related federal and state tax advice

  • FAA approvals and exemptions

Our global platform permits us to seamlessly handle complex multijurisdictional acquisitions and international aircraft operations using structures that accommodate the modern demands of international business and private aircraft use.

Aviation Tax

Our tax lawyers regularly assist clients in connection with numerous aviation tax issues. We have provided our clients with comprehensive guidance and assistance in connection with state sales and use tax issues, federal excise tax issues, tax-free (1031) exchanges, value-added taxes depreciation issues, leveraged leases, and passive activity loss limitations. We also have extensive experience resolving tax issues arising in cross-border transactions.

Manufacturers and Suppliers

Manufacturers and suppliers form another important segment of our European and U.S. aviation practice. We represent a consortium of foreign industrial companies in cooperation with a major U.S. aircraft manufacturer. We also represent manufacturers in litigation and have provided representation to air traffic control equipment suppliers on indemnification issues. We advise our clients in connection with aircraft management agreements; maintenance, repair, and overhaul agreements; service level agreements; ULD management agreements; and other commercial aviation matters. Finally, we have been extensively involved in most aspects of the air-to-ground passenger communications industry.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

The use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as remotely piloted aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles, is a fast-growing, evolving and dynamic area of the aviation field. In the United States, FAA regulation of UAS is in a state of flux, and as the regulatory environment becomes clarified, it is expected that these devices will be introduced in industries across the economy in everyday commercial pursuits. We represent clients involved in this area on regulatory and business operation matters, as well as on research and development activities. Given our firm’s capability and offices in major markets worldwide, our aviation practice group is well-positioned to support our clients in this emerging and exciting area of the aviation field on a global basis.

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