Practice Leader(s)
Related Practices
Related Industries
Professionals
Additional Resources

Aviation

Steptoe & Johnson LLP's Aviation practice focuses on advising international airlines and other aviation-related interests on a full range of matters that relate to the transportation of passengers and property to and from the United States. Our attorneys provide these clients counsel on economic regulatory matters, including procurement of economic rights from the US Department of Transportation, antitrust matters, airline alliances, air political matters, code sharing and wet lease issues, charter operations, and federal and local noise regulations. 

In addition, we counsel aviation clients on a variety of legal matters arising from their business operations in the United States, such as airport and other property leases, arrangements with service vendors and ground handling companies, tax issues and employment matters. We also advise clients with respect to travel distribution issues, including issues pertaining to computerized reservations services and travel agencies. The aviation practice also handles issues concerning regulatory compliance with the requirements imposed on carriers not only by the US Department of Transportation, but by other federal agencies, including the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration. 

Our practice also addresses areas such as hazardous materials transportation, US economic sanctions, and international trade regulations. Capitalizing on broad-based cross-practice capabilities, Steptoe provides its aviation clients with experienced tax and litigation counsel. Tax concerns are often addressed through the use of complex treaty provisions and reciprocity principles. We also counsel clients on user fees imposed on airlines. The firm also represents aviation interests in litigation matters before regulatory agencies, federal and state courts, and arbitration tribunals.

Steptoe attorneys have extensive experience in representing airlines and other aviation interests in complex antitrust cases and investigations, including matters concerning both passenger and cargo transportation. The firm has also been at the forefront of advising clients on the legal issues associated with the increasing globalization of the airline industry. We have counseled carriers on a broad range of aviation matters arising under international agreements and have advised with respect to international arbitration proceedings conducted under such agreements. Steptoe attorneys are leaders in representing the views of the foreign airline community on issues arising from US laws and policies that purport to have extraterritorial reach. We have, for example, advised on the international law implications of US efforts to regulate matters such as security procedures applicable outside the United States, drug and alcohol testing of foreign airline employees, taxation of the sale of frequent flyer mileage credits, and gambling on board foreign-flag aircraft operating outside US airspace.

With its prominent tax practice, Steptoe is able to offer a full range of tax services on federal, state, and local tax matters to its aviation clients. We also counsel clients on issues arising from the growing number of user fees imposed on airlines, as well as issues involving fees for over-flying the United States and other nations. Steptoe attorneys represent their aviation clients in all types of commercial and transactional matters, including aircraft financing transactions, contracts with airframe and engine manufacturers and service vendors, commercial arrangements with consolidators and travel agents, trademark matters, relationships with software suppliers, cyberlaw issues, and relations with airports and ground handling firms. Steptoe attorneys have substantial experience in aircraft leasing matters, and the firm is equipped to handle any type of aircraft acquisition transaction. 

Noteworthy

  • Steptoe attorneys are leaders in representing the views of the foreign airline community on issues arising from US laws and policies that purport to have extraterritorial reach.
  • The firm has also been at the forefront of advising clients on the legal issues associated with the increasing globalization of the airline industry.
  • Steptoe attorneys have substantial experience in aircraft leasing matters, and the firm is equipped to handle any type of aircraft acquisition transaction.

Publications