Plane-ly Spoken

Insightful commentary on regulation and litigation impacting the aviation industry

At long last, the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has brought clarity to the use of emotional support and service animals on airplanes.  As many of you will remember, the DOT proposed a sweeping set of regulations on this issue back in February.  The proposed rule drew thousands of comments, many of them angry and emotional, both pro and con. SERVICE ANIMALS The 122-page final rule provides clear guidelines regarding what constitutes a service animal…
Nowadays, whistleblowing is a very important issue, especially in these times of COVID-19 and in that vein, there are new and “creative” ways for employers to allegedly retaliate against employees who wish to report wrongdoing.  In a recent variation on this theme, a Contracts Manager has sued Airbus Group under the False Claims Act, claiming that the Company falsely “turned him in” to the FBI after he stated that he believed the Company’s accounting practices…
True integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System will only come when advanced designs finally receive type certification.  The FAA has clearly been working on certification issues behind the scenes, and is finally ready to make the next step public.  The FAA has finally decided to seek public input on the criteria that it will use to certify these cutting edge UAS designs. Since November 20th, the FAA has published its design criteria…
NOW FULLY VIRTUAL! Save the date for our 15th annual Aviation Symposium! February 2-4, 2021 “An Airplane Is Down…” Emergency Preparation and Response in the Pandemic Era (and Beyond) Our fully virtual 2021 symposium features panels and presentations on cutting-edge issues, as well as our annual full-scale emergency drill. This year’s drill will respond to a fact-driven “accident” and will address the company GO team, corporate command center, family assistance, accident investigation and media, as…
An AERO Webinar on Emergency Preparedness and Response for Corporate and Business Aviation, Hosted by Go Crisis   November 17, 2020 – 11:00 to 12:00 AM Eastern Standard Time In today’s world, corporate and business aviation has taken on an even greater importance.  One of the worst nightmares any corporate operator can have is the phone call that the aircraft carrying your employees has had an accident.  As horrific as this may be to contemplate,…
Virtually all Americans know that the FAA regulates air carrier safety in the United States.  However, most Americans are unaware that the Department of Transportation also maintains oversight of air carrier operations through a robust set of economic regulations.  According to a newly released Information for Operators (InFO), the FAA is concerned that a number of direct air carriers are also unaware of some of these economic regulations. On October 21, 2020, FAA Flight Standards…
Earlier this week, the FAA issued its Updated Interim Occupational Health and Safety Guidance for Air Carriers and Crews.  The updated Guidance continues to urge that crewmembers who exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19 cease work, and only return after they meet the CDC’s criteria for Discontinuation of Isolation for Persons with COVID-19 Not in Healthcare Settings.  Similarly, the FAA also recommends that crewmembers with known exposure to COVID-19 not work until 14 days…
Back in 2018, the Congress tasked the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) with studying the role that state and local governments should play in the regulation of unmanned aircraft and the lower levels of the National Airspace System.  After nearly two years of work, the GAO has finally issued its report.  The report contains a compilation of the current state of the law regarding privacy, federal preemption, property owners’ rights in the airspace over their…
Looking ahead to the 2021 Aviation Symposium: Accidents, Incidents & Emergency Response in a Pandemic Reality on February 2-4, we want to ensure that we accommodate the experience to the concerns of our attendees. While we’re optimistic that our free-to-attend Symposium in Mclean, Virginia will be a live event that follows necessary safety protocols, we recognize that COVID-19 remains a fluid situation. We want to ensure that we account for the comfort of our attendees.…