Aviation Law

Meet the Co-chairs - TAGLAW

Good, Matthew K.
Conner & Winters, LLP

Aviation Law

Author: Alister Waters

With an increase in Space activity in Australia it can sometimes be difficult to navigate the obligations and liabilities that participants might face.

Australia’s Space industry is rapidly expanding. With increased funding and drive from Government and academia, new players are frequently entering the market. One thing that is common to all entrants in the Space market is the need to understand the governing legislation, with respect to those looking to send objects into space this is specifically the Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018  (the Space Act) and associated Rules.

Read more: Ready for Lift Off? – General Obligations and Liabilities Under the Space (Launches and Returns)...

Author: Stephanie A. Short

A new road block to the passage of the FAA reauthorization bill has arisen in the form of an amendment expected to be offered by Republican Senator Mike Lee (Utah) that would permit state and local regulation of drone deliveries. The proposed amendment has drawn harsh criticism from industry groups.

Read more: Senator Attempts to Tie Drone Federalism to Long-Term FAA Reauthorization Bill

Author: Brittany C. Wakim

As we reported last quarter, the United States Department of Transportation (“DOT”) recently asked for public comment about amending current regulations relating to the transport of service and support animals based on the increasing concerns and risks that untrained service animals pose to the health and safety of crewmembers and passengers. Although the DOT’s action was in response to the tightening of restrictions by certain carriers, carriers have continued to tighten their restrictions while the DOT reviews this issue.

United, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and Alaska all have tightened their support animal restrictions this summer.

Read more: Airlines Continue to Tighten Emotional Support Animal Policies While Department of Transportation...

By Scott C. Hall.

The Federal Aviation Administration's ("FAA's") Part 107 rule for small commercial drone operation, effective as of August 2016, has now been up and running for over a year. In light of this milestone, the FAA recently took the opportunity to highlight various successes resulting from the rule and to promote continuing drone innovation and operations. Yet, while much progress has been made in commercial drone use over the past year, an honest assessment also requires acknowledging that there are still many obstacles to overcome, and much work to do, to fully realize the benefits of commercial drone operation in the U.S.

One particularly notable success for the drone industry has been the important role played by drones in supporting emergency response and rescue efforts in connection with recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. In addition to the use of drones by media outlets to provide news coverage of otherwise inaccessible areas affected by the hurricanes, the FAA issued well over 100 specific authorizations – sometimes within hours of a request – to drone operators performing time-sensitive search and rescue missions or assessing damage to roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure in disaster areas. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta commented on the role of drones in the wake of recent hurricanes as a "landmark in the evolution of drone usage in the country."

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As is noted in international agreements, it is crucial to make clear the meanings and definitions of aviation terms. So that the subject of this newsletter is clear, it is of the essence to properly explain the term ‘sky.’

The term ‘sky’ that corresponds to “Luftraum,” in German, and “Espace aérien,” in French, is defined as the area lying above the earth’s surface, which is layered with air stratum. Although the term, ‘airspace’ is a much more accurate definition to describe the same area using a three-dimensional platform, in Turkish aviation practice, the term, ‘sky’ is preferred, rather than, ‘airspace’ to describe that specific area.

Read more: Single European Sky