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Capabilities / Aviation

Aviation

Husch Blackwell's Aviation law team helps businesses take flight.

Our Aviation law team helps clients reach new heights with deep experience in aircraft- and aviation-related commercial transactions, regulatory compliance, tax, insurance, accident and product liability litigation, as well as intellectual property matters. We represent commercial and private business aviation clients such as commercial airlines, charter operators, aircraft management companies, FBOs, MROs, corporate flight departments, aircraft owners, lessors and financing parties, parts manufacturers, EMS operators, and airports.

The Aviation law team has deep experience involving aircraft acquisition, disposition, leasing, and financing transactions, ranging from fleetwide transactions involving hundreds of commercial aircraft and engines to individual private and business aircraft. In addition, our aviation law attorneys negotiate a variety of domestic and international commercial airline agreements such as in the areas of charter, cargo, procurement, tech ops, and sales and marketing.  

The Aviation law team also provides guidance in matters involving the Department of Transportation (DOT) (including obtaining certificates of convenience and necessity), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and related regulatory agencies, and represents clients in aviation industry mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures, aircraft engine campaigns, maintenance agreements, aircraft management and charter agreements, aircraft ownership and operational structures, aircraft refurbishment agreements, privacy data compliance, data monitoring agreements, airport, tax, and import/export issues. In addition to the foregoing, our Aviation attorneys advise on space law issues and includes a UAS group providing advice on matters involving unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Representative Experience

  • Represented major commercial airline in negotiating and finalizing all relevant documentation for the acquisition of 47 new Boeing 787 aircraft and the deferral of 40 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft previously scheduled to arrive between 2020 and 2022. Also negotiated with engine suppliers; negotiated and documented a comprehensive long-term engine maintenance agreement; collaborated with other client counsel on related financing and leasing commitments; and negotiated an agreement with Airbus to terminate client’s order for 22 Airbus A350s.
  • Represented major commercial airline in the negotiation of purchase agreements for 85 of Airbus’s A321neo family aircraft and 85 of Boeing’s 737 MAX 10 aircraft, including options and purchase rights for an additional 150 aircraft.
  • Represented commercial airline immersed in Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings. Led negotiations for, and assisted bankruptcy counsel in, obtaining court approval of multiple interrelated aircraft, engine, and maintenance agreements, including purchase agreements for a firm order of 100 Boeing Model 737 MAX aircraft, with an option for 60 more. The closing of this transaction was a major milestone to the client’s plan of reorganization.
  • Represented Saudi company in structuring and completing the acquisition and secured financing of a Gulfstream 450 aircraft through the use of a non-U.S. citizen trust structure and in compliance with all applicable laws, including Federal Aviation Regulations. 
  • Represented major commercial airline in connection with the sale and secured financing of five aging aircraft to a Russian commercial air carrier. The transaction involved secured debt financing coupled with security assignments of operating leases, with each aircraft placed on the Bermuda registry and exported for operation in Russia.
  • Represented a national security industry in responding to a letter of investigation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alleging the client had violated hazardous materials regulations on multiple occasions by improperly shipping certain products on aircraft. Each violation carried a potential penalty of more than $50,000. Based on our letter, as well as supporting documentation that described the client’s rapid and comprehensive response to the FAA’s concerns, the FAA closed its investigation with no enforcement action or penalty.
Media Mentions | September 15, 2022
Biz 417: Lauren Hawkins on the Art of Negotiation
News Releases | June 21, 2019
Husch Blackwell Represents American Airlines in 50-Plane Purchase Agreement with Airbus

The transaction provides for converting 30 firmly ordered A321neo aircraft to the purchase of 30 A321 XLR aircraft, plus a commitment to purchase 20 additional A321 XLR aircraft.

The Husch Blackwell team brings valuable industry insight, deep experience, and unmatched institutional knowledge developed over decades. It is hard for other firms to match this expertise.

Managing director and senior attorney, major U.S.-based airline