Plane-ly Spoken

Insightful commentary on regulation and litigation impacting the aviation industry

The manned and unmanned aviation communities do not see eye-to-eye on any number of issues.  Each side has a vision of how unmanned aircraft fit into the National Airspace System, and each side continually engages with the FAA to push that vision.  While the FAA’s attempt to balance these competing views often leaves one or both sides disappointed, one thing that both sides agree on is that these decisions should be left to the FAA.…
Our complimentary 2020 Aviation Symposium mobile app for Apple and Android is live and ready to be downloaded to your device. The Aviation Symposium App will enhance your symposium experience by providing the most up-to-date schedule and session locations, speaker information, an attendee list and the opportunity to share live feedback throughout the presentations. This year’s symposium — scheduled for February 4 at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner in McLean, VA  — covers the major…
On April 25, 2011, in response to a number of high profile incidents, the DOT published the “Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections” rule to put hard limits on what constitutes an acceptable tarmac delay for a loaded passenger plane.  The rule required carriers to adopt contingency plans for such delays, and limit delays to three hours for domestic flights and four hours for international flights.  For delays over that time period, the airline had to provide…
In an article for Law360, Mark Dombroff explains how the Federal Aviation Administration and local governments continue to vie for control of the airspace being used by drones — an issue that will only intensify in the coming year. The FAA has been working on new rules to permit drones to fly directly over large concentrations of people. These so-called remote identification rules will allow for detection and identification of unmanned aircraft no matter where they fly.…
For those of you who may have missed the live presentation of the latest Aviation Webinar Series, “Flying for the Feds: USTRANSCOM, CRAF, CARB, DBA and the Rest of the Alphabet,” you can view the entire presentation by clicking on the links below. The slide deck from the webinar is available here. The webinar recording is available here. Check back here for updates on the next webinar: “Trains, Highways, Boats and Pipelines: Dos and…
It’s a question asked by kids (and backseat drivers) everywhere. In the case of the remote identification of drones, the driver is the FAA, and the Congress, as always, is in the back seat. Congress has the authority to set priorities for administrative agencies. In addition to wheedling and cajoling agency Administrators and Secretaries when they testify before Congress, they can pass laws requiring the agency to act by a fixed deadline. How effective is…
  In a recent post, we discussed the Safe Landings Act (H.R. 4166), pending legislation introduced in August of this year. In this post, we discuss another piece of pending legislation – the Safe and Quiet Skies Act of 2019. The Safe and Quiet Skies Act of 2019 (H.R. 4547) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on September 27, 2019, by Representative Ed Case of Hawaii’s First Congressional District (located entirely…
In Parts I & II of this article, we discussed current developments electric and hybrid-electric aircraft.    We touched on battery technology and even discussed transport category aircraft that I might be flying on when I finally retire….sadly in 2043, if I’m lucky.  In this third installment, we discuss the FAA Part 23 certification process and its application to electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, Amendment 64, and the certification challenges facing much of the…
“An Airplane Is Down…” Lessons to Be Learned From Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines February 4–6, 2020 The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner Join Fox Rothschild for a symposium on the major aviation issues of 2019, including the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents and the many concerns they raise. Symposium Topics: What about the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents should concern you? An update on emotional support and service animals Structuring and conducting an effective…
In Part I of this post, we discussed current developments in fixed-wing electric aircraft and the current state of aircraft battery technology, followed by current developments in transport category hybrid-electric aircraft.  Today, we switch to what might be the next evolution in aviation transportation – the all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, otherwise referred to as the eVTOL. eVTOL AIRCRAFT According to the Electric VTOL News website, there are currently 217 electric and hybrid-electric…