Aviation represents one of the most dynamic and challenging economic sectors in the domestic and international economy, and environmental issues are among its most important priorities. B&D's longstanding presence in the airline industry enables us to craft strategies that not only succeed legally but also advance the business goals of our aviation clients.

We represent the commercial aviation industry’s principal trade association, as well as individual airlines, on all environmental matters, including issues that arise under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Federal Aviation Regulations, the Federal Aviation Act (FAA) and Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the Chicago Convention.

We also regularly handle litigation involving FAA and EPA rulemaking challenges, intervention in actions to uphold airport Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) decisions and to support favorable FAA rulemakings and other agency actions, takings and nuisance issues related to aircraft operations, and federal preemption actions under the FAA, the Airline Deregulation Act, and the Airport Improvement Act.

B&D has long served as primary outside environmental counsel for the Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (ATA) on environmental matters. During the course of that representation, we have provided ongoing counsel and advice on the key environmental issues for the industry, handled environmental litigation and rulemaking challenges, prepared formal comments on all aspects of the environmental regulatory regimes that govern the aviation sector, prepared advocacy submissions to key agencies, represented the interests of the airline industry in numerous formal and informal regulatory contexts, and worked on issues related to compliance and enforcement.

Representative Matters

Our airline experience includes:

  • Successfully defending ten airlines in a takings and nuisance action premised on noise claims arising from aircraft operations at a major airport.
  • Representing the airline industry in the negotiation of a memorandum of understanding as an alternative to rulemaking under the Clean Air Act.
  • Successfully challenging state regulation of air emissions on preemption grounds under Section 209 of the Clean Air Act.
  • Representing the airline industry in its successful efforts to introduce environmental streamlining for purposes of NEPA review of new runway construction.
  • Successfully defending FAA regulations governing the proper application of noise models to various types of aircraft operations.