The aviation industry is highly regulated – not just for the major airlines but for corporate and personal aircraft as well.  Compliance and tax issues abound, whether you are buying, selling, leasing, operating, storing, or furnishing aircraft. The attorneys on our aviation team (some of whom are pilots and aircraft owners) have extensive experience and assist commercial, business and private aviation-related clients in transactional, regulatory, finance, and litigation matters.

Acquisitions, Sales and Financing

  • Structuring, negotiating and preparing documentation for the purchase, financing, ownership, leasing and sale of aircraft
  • Negotiating, structuring and preparing documentation for the purchase and leasing of aircraft hangar sites and construction of hangar facilities
  • Structuring and negotiating dry lease, timeshare, interchange and charter arrangements
  • Negotiating and documenting pilot services and aircraft management agreements and all aspects of flight department operations
  • Negotiating and documenting fractional executive jet ownership arrangements
  • Negotiation and documentation of foreign owner trust arrangements
  • Restructuring problem aircraft loans

Our relationships with a variety of capital resources can prove helpful in structuring your financing needs. Click here for more information on our financing experience.

Tax and Regulatory Compliance

  • Structuring ownership and operation of aircraft to minimize state and federal tax consequences
  • Assisting with Federal Aviation Administration registration, licensure, permits and other FAA regulations
  • Assisting owners and lenders in complying with Cape Town Convention International Registry
  • Structuring and documenting aircraft 1031 forward and reverse exchanges
  • Advising on the nonbusiness use of employer provided aircraft, bonus depreciation, passive activity loss and related party leasing rules
  • Resolving controversies with the FAA
  • Assisting with IRS audits of aircraft ownership and operational activities

Many issues relating to state, federal and international tax laws can be reduced with proper counsel. Click here for more information on our tax counsel experience.

Supply Chain Management and Operations

  • Structuring contractual arrangements in  fleet procurement and supply chain relationships
  • MRO agreements
  • Fleet wide Inflight entertainment hardware and service agreements
  • Content agreements with movie studios with DRM provisions
  • Maintenance, inventory supply and service agreements with service level commitments
  • Repair center agreements with service level commitments
  • Preparing disaster recovery and mitigation plans

The supply chain management process is particularly important in aviation as supplier services and parts not meeting requirements related to specifications, delivery times, regulatory matters or security protocols can result in significant costs, delays and AOG situations. Click here for more information on our supply chain management counsel experience.

For questions or more information, please contact James F. Heekin, Chair of the firm's Aviation Group.