Aviation Law




What is Aviation Law? This highly specialized field of law encompasses most facets of air travel, as well as the operation and regulation of business issues relating to air travel, which requires a comprehensive knowledge of FAA regulations, specific laws regarding flight, and an in depth understanding of aviation. Aviation law pertains to nearly all individuals connected to the operation and maintenance of aircraft.

The practice of Aviation law can include litigation on behalf of families who are suffering from loss or injury due to an aircraft tragedy and the defense of an aviation professional accused of violating Federal Aviation Regulations.

Most aspects of aviation law fall under the oversight of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Although, air traffic regulation polices, laws and administrative agencies have been created by both federal and state government, with certain restrictions preventing states from regulating routes, services, or the rates of all air carriers authorized to provide interstate air transportation by the Federal Aviation Act. States may alter existing remedies and enact state laws consistent with federal mandate, though. Additionally, Federal law does not preempt state products liability law, and more often than not, in most defective product cases, aviation manufacturers may be held strictly liable.

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Know Your Rights!

  • What Are My Legal Rights if My Flight Gets Canceled or Delayed?

    Anyone who has done much travel has had to contend with delayed flights or cancellations. Though often unavoidable due to weather or conditions beyond the airline's control, the ones who usually suffer the most are the stranded passengers. So what are your rights if a flight is canceled or delayed?

  • When Can Kids Fly Alone?

    What are the laws and rules regarding when children can fly alone? Every major airline has its own rules about allowing kids to fly by themselves or, as they are commonly referred to “unaccompanied minors”.

  • Why Can't I Use My Phone on a Flight?

    Why can one still not make a phone call from their cell phone during a flight? The reason has a basis in both practical applications of science and in the law.

Articles About Aviation Law

  • Is Drone Hunting Going to be Legal in the United States?
    After reports of domestic spying surfaced, and the possibility that drone aircraft might be used to carry out surveillance of Americans, many reacted violently. This led to what was initially considered an absurd suggestion that “drone hunting” should be legalized. However, several jurisdictions have actually made movement in the direction of issuing permits to shoot surveillance aircraft out of the sky.
  • When Can Kids Fly Alone?
    It is not uncommon, particularly around the holidays, for children to visit family members in other states. Sometimes this means taking a flight. But, for many families, it is just not financially feasible for a parent to accompany the child on the flight. So, what are the laws and rules regarding when children can fly alone?
  • What Are My Legal Rights if My Flight Gets Canceled or Delayed?
    Anyone who has done much travel has had to contend with delayed flights or cancellations. Though often unavoidable due to weather or conditions beyond the airline's control, the ones who usually suffer the most are the stranded passengers. So what are your rights if a flight is canceled or delayed?
  • Why Can't I Use My Phone on a Flight?
    For years, frequent commuters have complained about the inability to use their electronic devices on planes. Several years ago, the restrictions relaxed somewhat, allowing the use of approved electronic devices while at cruising altitude, and a recent rule change will allow the use of electronic devices, even during takeoff and landing, in the near future. But, why were these things banned in the first place? Why can one still not make a phone call from their cell phone during a flight?
  • American Jurisprudence and Just Culture
    This article investigates the application of the American legal system in aviation accidents by comparing and contrasting the American (US) jurisprudence with the European administration of justice in aviation accidents. In particular the article discusses the importance of fostering a "just culture".
  • Coping After Aviation Accidents
    Traveling by air is still one of the safest forms of transportation. Although airplane crashes are extremely rare, they do still happen ocasionally. When a major airline disaster occurs, the federal government provides support services to the families of victims and to survivors.
  • Too Drunk to Fly? Federal Blood-Alcohol Limits for Pilots
    In January 2013, a pilot was arrested after failing a breathalyzer test in the cockpit. The pilot was about to take off with more than 50 passengers aboard the plane.
  • Air Traffic Controller Errors on the Rise: A Report From Your South Florida Injury Lawyer
    According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), certain errors by air traffic controllers rose by 81 percent between 2007 and 2010. These errors, which result in planes flying too closely to one another or too closely to an object, have the potential to result in injury or death. For instance, in January of 2010, an error made by an air traffic controller resulted in a plane crash in Hawaii that killed a pilot and passenger.
  • How Is The Technology For Avoiding Midair Collisions Advancing?
    Over the years, flying has become an increasingly safe mode of travel, with the annual number of fatalities suffered in accidents steadily declining. However, midair collisions, especially involving smaller aircraft, still pose a significant safety threat, with an average of 30 crashes resulting in a total of 75 deaths recorded each year since 1978. An accident that recently occurred in California illustrates the problem, explains a lawyer in the state.
  • Airline Safety Statistics Suggest Domestic Progress, Global Challenges
    Aviation News
  • All Aviation Law Articles

    Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Aviation Law including: aviation accidents and aerospace law.

Aviation Law - US

  • ABA Forum on Air and Space Law

    The Forum on Air and Space Law is your link to vital and timely information in the aviation arena. You'll join a group of more than 1,500 professionals who represent all areas of air and space law including airlines, airports, labor, financial communities, the FAA, DOT, NASA, as well as attorneys practicing in corporate, litigation and antitrust areas.

  • Air Transportation Regulatory Reform Act of 1978

    An Act to amend the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, to encourage, develop, and attain an air transportation system which relies on competitive market forces to determine the quality, variety, and price of air services, and for other purposes.

  • Airport and Airway Development Act of 1970

    The Secretary shall take affirmative action to assure that no person shall, on the grounds of race, creed, color, national origin, or sex, be excluded from participating in any activity conducted with funds received from any grant made under this title.

  • Aviation Law - Wikipedia

    Aviation law is the branch of law that concerns flight, air travel, and associated legal and business concerns. Some of its area of concern overlaps that of admiralty law and in many cases, aviation law is considered a matter of international law due to the nature of air travel.

  • Aviation: an Overview

    Aviation law governs the operation of aircraft and the maintenance of aviation facilities. Both federal and state governments have enacted statutes and created administrative agencies to regulate air traffic.

  • Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938

    Under the Civil Aeronautics Act (52 Stat. 973), June 23, 1938, as modified by Reorganization Plans Nos. III and IV of 1940; and as redefined by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (72 Stat. 731), August, 23, 1958, promoted and regulated the civil air industry within the United States and between the United States and foreign countries in the interest of the foreign and domestic commerce of the United States, the postal service, and the national defense.

  • Federal Aviation Act of 1958

    Federal Aviation Act of 1958, as amended, involving an amount in controversy in excess of $50,000; an in rem action; seizure of aircraft; or injunctive relief.

  • US Code - Title 49 - Aviation Programs
  • US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) - Regulations & Policies

    Our continuing mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world. We continue to improve the safety and efficiency of flight. We are responsive to our customers and are accountable to the taxpayer and the flying public * Safety is our passion. We are the world leaders in aerospace safety. * Quality is our trademark. We serve our country, our stakeholders, our customers, and each other. * Integrity is our character. We do the right thing, even when no one is looking. * People are our strength. We treat people as we want to be treated.

Aviation Law - International

  • Australian Aviation Policy & Regulation

    The primary role of the Aviation and Airports Division is to advise the Government on the policy and regulatory framework for the Australian aviation and airports industries. The Division manages the continuing relationship between the Government and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Airservices Australia (Airservices) and Australia's airlines. It also manages Australia's participation in the work of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and provides the secretariat for the International Air Services Commission (IASC).

  • Aviation Regulations & EU Air Transport Policy (Code 11)

    The objectives are: * Understand how air transportation is being transformed by market economies, liberalization of air routes, technological changes, commercialization of aviation activities as well as by the EU air transport framework * Discuss the issues affecting airline operations, civil aviation and airport administrations.

  • Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs)

    The Canadian Aviation Regulations are a compilation of regulatory requirements designed to enhance safety and the competitiveness of the Canadian aviation industry. They correspond to the broad areas of aviation which Transport Canada, Civil Aviation is mandated to regulate (e.g. personnel licensing, airworthiness, commercial air services, etc.).

  • Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the United Kingdom

    These directions are hereby given to the Civil Aviation Authority ("the CAA") by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 66(1) of the Transport Act 2000 ("the Act"). These directions are given in respect of that airspace comprising all airspace of the United Kingdom and all airspace outside the United Kingdom for which the Government of the United Kingdom has assumed responsibility under international arrangements (together "UK airspace").

  • Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air

    This Convention applies to all international carriage of persons, baggage or cargo performed by aircraft for reward. It applies equally to gratuitous carriage by aircraft performed by an air transport undertaking.

  • Ireland Aviation Regulation & International Relations Division

    Developing policies for the Irish aviation sector that maximise its contribution to the economy, in addition to developing aviation sector safety and environment policies.

  • UK Civil Aviation Authority

    The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is a public corporation, was established by Parliament in 1972 as an independent specialist aviation regulator and provider of air traffic services. The CAA is the UK's independent specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include economic regulation, airspace policy, safety regulation and consumer protection. The UK Government requires that the CAA’s costs are met entirely from its charges on those whom it regulates. Unlike many other countries, there is no direct Government funding of the CAA’s work.

Organizations For Aviation Law

  • Airlines for America

    Airlines for America is the premier trade group of the principal U.S. airlines. Airlines for America airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90% of U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic.

  • American Helicopter Society (AHS) International

    The American Helicopter Society (AHS) International is the world's premier professional vertical flight society. Since its inception in 1944, AHS has been a major force in the advancement of a global rotor craft industry, marked by rapid technical developments, expanding military capabilities, and commercial applications.

  • Department of Homeland Security

    This Department of Homeland Security’s overriding and urgent mission is to lead the unified national effort to secure the country and preserve our freedoms. While the Department was created to secure our country against those who seek to disrupt the American way of life, our charter also includes preparation for and response to all hazards and disasters.

  • European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

    The European Aviation Safety Agency promotes the highest common standards of safety and environmental protection in civil aviation in Europe and worldwide. It is the centrepiece of a new regulatory system which provides for a single European market in the aviation industry.

  • European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC)

    Founded in 1955 as an intergovernmental organisation, ECAC's objective is to promote the continued development of a safe, efficient and sustainable European air transport system. In so doing, ECAC seeks to: * Harmonise civil aviation policies and practices amongst its Member States; * Promote understanding on policy matters between its Member States and other parts of the world.

  • Federal Aviation Administration

    Our Mission: Our continuing mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world. Our Vision: We continue to improve the safety and efficiency of flight. We are responsive to our customers and are accountable to the taxpayer and the flying public.

  • International Air Transport Association (IATA)

    is one of the most dynamic industries in the world. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the air transport global trade organisation. IATA’s mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry. Its members comprise some 230 airlines - the world’s leading passenger and cargo airlines among them - representing 93 percent of scheduled international air traffic.

  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

    The International Civil Aviation Organization, a UN Specialized Agency, is the global forum for civil aviation. ICAO works to achieve its vision of safe, secure and sustainable development of civil aviation through cooperation amongst its member States.

  • International Council of Air Shows (ICAS)

    The primary missions of the organization are: 1) to maintain safety; 2) serve as an information resource on air show issues for those within and outside the industry; 3) provide for the training and continuing education needs of ICAS members and air show professionals generally; and 4) promote the air show industry to the media, Corporate North America and the general public.

  • Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA)

    The Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) is an associated body of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) representing the civil aviation regulatory authorities of a number of European States who have agreed to co-operate in developing and implementing common safety regulatory standards and procedures. This co-operation is intended to provide high and consistent standards of safety and a "level playing field" for competition in Europe. Much emphasis is also placed on harmonising the JAA regulations with those of the USA.

  • National Transportation Library

    The mission of the National Transportation Library (NTL) is to maintain and facilitate access to statistical and other information needed for transportation decision-making at the Federal, State, and local levels and to coordinate with public and private transportation libraries and information providers to improve information sharing among the transportation community. NTL was established in 1998 by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).

  • Transportation Security Administration

    The Transportation Security Administration was formed immediately following the tragedies of Sept. 11. Our agency is a component of the Department of Homeland Security and is responsible for security of the nation's transportation systems.


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