Airport Law


On the ground, both public and private entities involved with the operation, maintenance, location, and construction and expansion of airports turn to Eckert Seamans attorneys for advice and representation. Our lawyers represent airports before local, state, and federal courts and administrative agencies regarding numerous regulatory issues related to airport operations. The firm also utilizes its multi-disciplinary approach to address specific challenges to aviation clients in areas such as contract law, procurement, real estate and construction, public finance, labor and employment, and litigation. Firm attorneys have represented airport authorities in the construction of new terminals, the negotiation of airport concessions programs, the improvement of safety areas on site, financing major maintenance and construction projects, and the negotiation of complex leasing programs.

It is anticipated that in the coming years many airports will embark on new projects centered on upgrades to runways, capacity, and the aviation system itself, including new air traffic control towers, radar equipment, and intermodal connections. The firm also provides representation on other legal matters affecting businesses in the aviation industry, including tax, antitrust issues, regulatory compliance, OFAC sanctions, environmental issues, bankruptcy and restructuring, insurance, and security and facilitation.

Representative Matters

  • Provide ongoing advice and training at U.S. and foreign headquarters of firm clients to ensure compliance with 14 C.F.R. Part 382, Non-discrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel. Developed and updated training materials and provided DOT-compliant training to airline personnel in airport operations, customer service, and reservations departments.
  • Our labor attorneys advise both unionized and union-free clients on a full range of labor and employee-relations matters. Our lawyers represent clients in collective bargaining negotiations, labor disputes, grievances and arbitrations, and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, and state and federal courts. The group also provides counseling and advice under the Railway Labor Act. The firm is national labor and employment counsel for a major AirTrain operator in the United States.
  • Our public finance attorneys have experience in a wide range of matters involving airport, port, and marine terminal sector structured financings by state and local government entities. We have represented governmental issuers in the issuance of governmental bonds and exempt facilities bonds for airport projects and port and marine terminal projects as well as airline and terminal operators participating in those projects.
  • Represent airports before local, state, and federal courts and administrative agencies regarding numerous issues related to airport operations.
  • Advised avionics, security firms, and international terminals on compliance with TSA requirements for airport passenger and cargo operations.
  • Represented airports in high-profile airport noise proceedings.
  • Counsel an aerospace, space, defense, security, and transportation company in regard to all federal, state and local legal compliance issues pertaining to establishing and maintaining a comprehensive perimeter and access security system at John F. Kennedy airport. Compliance issues include meeting all Port Authority, DHS, TSA, FAA, CBP and New York state legal requirements.
  • Served as U.S. Aviation Regulatory Counsel in a transaction involving the purchase of one of the world’s largest airport/ground-services provider. The company provides ground-handling services at dozens of U.S. airports and has contracts with many municipalities in order to provide its services. As part of the international acquisition, Eckert Seamans provided guidance on U.S. aviation regulatory matters, assisted with due diligence review of airport leases and associated agreements, and advised on potentially problematic liability issues that might result from the corporate acquisition including environmental indemnification.
  • Represented private charter operator on procurement of fixed base operator (FBO) status.
  • Negotiated airport lease on behalf of carriers, operators, and governments.