International Regulation AVIATION

The Aviation Practice counsels international and domestic airlines, airports and other aviation businesses on a wide range of economic, safety and other aviation-specific regulations, and on compliance with competition laws in the United States and the European Union. It represents parties before regulators in the United States and Europe in the rulemaking, licensing, certification and enforcement proceedings. The practice group has broad experience in:

  • Licensing and certification proceedings. We handle licensing and certification matters, before the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for established and new entrant airlines. We have advised US and foreign air carriers regarding the "open skies” air service agreement between the United States and the European Union and assisted clients in applying to the USDOT for additional and streamlined operating authority available under that agreement.
  • International route proceedings. We routinely represent airlines as well as other interested parties in international route allocation proceedings. We have successfully represented major US carriers in obtaining highly sought after authority to serve important international destinations, including China and Mexico, in contested proceedings before the USDOT.
  • Enforcement proceedings. We represent airlines, shippers and indirect air carriers in enforcement proceedings before the USDOT and FAA. We have successfully defended a broad range of aviation enterprises in proceedings involving allegations of unfair competition, the use of unfair and deceptive advertising practices, violations of agency rules and regulations, including hazardous materials regulations and safety and security regulations.
  • Rulemakings. We routinely represent interested parties in administrative rulemaking proceedings.
  • IATFCPA. We have represented complainants in proceedings under the US International Air Transportation Fair Competitive Practices Act charging foreign airlines with unfair competitive practice, and we have defended non-US airlines in such proceedings.
  • Antitrust immunity for airline cooperation. We have secured approval of numerous applications for antitrust immunity before the USDOT, including significant dealings with the US Department of Justice, and the European Commission to facilitate airline alliances.
  • Slot Proceedings. We have represented a major US carrier in successfully obtaining highly sought after exemption slots at Washington, DC’s Reagan National Airport in a contested proceeding before the USDOT.
  • Aviation safety and security matters. We have counseled airlines, airports and indirect cargo carriers on a wide range of aviation safety and security matters.
  • Airport regulations. We have counseled clients with respect to airport privatizations, user fees and charges, airspace reclassifications, and revenue diversion matters. We have also advised airport users on matters including environmental liability issues and often-complex legal and regulatory issues relating to federal grant funding programs for US airport operators.
  • Foreign investment in US carriers. We have advised foreign investors, US airlines, investment banks, venture capital and private equity funds on US regulatory requirements associated with investments in US airlines, including regulations limiting foreign ownership and control over US carriers.
  • Air traffic control (ATC). We have advised a number of European governmental and multilateral institutions in their efforts to reform ATC systems. For example, we advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the modernization and reorganization of the Russian air traffic management system. We also completed a comprehensive study for the European Commission on European air space management and design. The recommendations of the study laid the ground for and are reflected in the new EU regulatory framework for the creation of a single European sky.
  • Regulation of aircraft repair services. We represented a foreign carrier's repair station with respect to changes in FAA regulations governing repair of US-registered aircraft and the effect of such changes on the US legal status of particular repair work.
Crones, Christian

Dr. Christian Crones


+49 69 27 10 78 207 (t)

Mueller, Thomas

Thomas Mueller


+1 202 663 6766 (t)

Novick, Robert T.

Robert T. Novick


+1 202 663 6140 (t)

Ross, David J.

David J. Ross


+1 202 663 6515 (t)

Wissmann, Matthias

Matthias Wissmann

Senior International Counsel

+49 30 20 22 64 26 (t)

Meltzer, Ronald I.

Ronald I. Meltzer

Senior Counsel

+1 202 663 6389 (t)