Report: ABA Forum on Air and Space Law, Chicago, Ill., 2009

September 28, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event, Blogcast, Space Law Current Events, Student Blogger | Leave a comment

by Nicholas Welly, J.D. Candidate, University of Mississippi School of Law & ABA Forum on Air & Space Law Student Liaison

The American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space Law convened its 2009 Annual Meeting in Chicago last week. The event, titled “Course Correction: Strategies for Changing Times” is was held at the InterContinental Hotel in the heart of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. The agenda included several thought provoking panels addressing the challenges facing the aviation and space industries during these trying economic times.

The two-and-a-half day agenda officially kicked off Wednesday evening, following several administrative meetings of the Forum’s Governing Committee, with the Speakers Dinner, hosted by The Nolan group and held at Gibson’s Steakhouse. The event provided an outstanding networking opportunity for new and veteran Forum members.

The event included keynote addresses from several captains of industry. On Thursday morning, Chicago First Deputy Commissioner of Aviation Michael Boland welcomed the attendees with a preview of the Windy City’s 2016 Olympic Bid, then provided an overview of the city’s two major airports – Midway and O’Hare – highlighted their complimentary nature. Deputy Commissioner Boland then described the city’s efforts in the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP). In addition to increasing capacity and decreasing delays, the OMP is setting the standard for sustainability in the arenas of airport design and management. Information about the project is available at

Thursday’s lunch hour included a keynote address by John Luth, President and CEO of Seabury Aviation & Aerospace LLC. Mr. Luth provided a compelling review of recent economic trends in the aviation and aerospace industries, and described the type of industry forecasting and strategies he and his company provide their aerospace clients.

Friday’s lunch hour included the final keynote address by Glenn Tilton, President and CEO of UAL Corporation. Mr. Tilton discussed the challenges faced by the airline industry as a whole, and discussed the role of strategic partnerships, airport modernization, and domestic and international regulation on the global airline industry.

Thursday and Friday also delivered informative discussions by panel members and moderators from across the aerospace industry. Below is a overview of the Forum Panels:

Thursday, September 24th:

“Open Skies: Alliances and Competition.”
Moderator: Kenneth Quinn, Pilsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Panelists: The Honorable Robert Rivkin, General Counsel, U.S. Department of Transportation; John Byerly, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Transportation Affairs; Shawn Christensen, General Counsel, WestJet; Julie Ottinger, Managing Director, International & Regulatory Affairs, United Airlines; and Jeffrey Shane, Hogan & Hartson

“Global Regulation of Aviation”
Moderator: Glenn P. Wicks, The Wicks Group PLLC
Panelists: Margaret Gilligan, Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, Federal Aviation Administration; Leslie MacIntosh, Chief Legal Counsel, Civil Aviation Authority of New Zeland; Frank Manuhutu, Chief Legal Advisor , EASA Rulemaking Directorate; E. Tazwell Ellett, Hogan & Hartson; Conor McAuliffe, Managing Director, European Affairs, United Airlines; Marshall S. Sinick, Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP

“The Power of Persuasion”
Moderator: Robert S. Span, Steinbrecher & Span LLP
Panelists: The Honorable Joel M. Flaum, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; Carter S. Phillips, Sidley Austin LLP; Beth S. Brinkmann, Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

Breakout Session 1 – “U.S. Export Controls, Trade Embargoes and Economic Programs: Compliance and Ethics Challenges for the Aerospace Industry”
Moderator: Franceska Schroeder, Fish & Richardson
Panelists: Dennis Burnett, Vice President, Trade Policy & Export Controls, EADS North American Defense Company; Dr. Henry Hertzfeld, Center for International Science & Technology/Space Policy Institute, The George Washington University; Kenneth Mead, Baker Botts LLP

Breakout Session 2 – “The Cape Town Convention in Practice”
Moderator: Donal P Hanley, Vice President, Legal, Aviation Capital Group
Panelists: Lynne Gochanour, Chapman & Cutler LLP; Susan H. Haught, Daugherty Fowler Peregrin Haught & Jenson; Marie O’Brien, Matheson Ormsby Prentice

“The General Counsel Forum”
Moderator: David Berg, Vice President & General Counsel, Air Transport Association of America
Panelists: Richard B. Hirst, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel, Delta Air Lines; Madeline Johnson, Vice President and General Counsel, Southwest Airlines; Maria da Cunha, General Counsel, British Airways; Oliver Furtak, General Counsel, Airbus S.A.S., David Schwarte, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Sabre, Inc.; John Rakow, Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, Space Systems/Loral

Friday, September 25th:

“Challenges and Opportunities in Aircraft Finance”
Moderator: Andrea Gerber, Vedder Price PC
Panelists: Andrea Brantner, Senior Vice President & Counsel, GE Capital Aviation Services; Loren Dollett, Executive Vice President, Aviation Capital Group; Robert A. Morin, Vice President, Transportation Division, Export-Import Bank of the U.S.

“Labor Relations in a Mature Industry”
Moderator: Steven Taylor, Vice President Legal, FedEx Express
Panelists: Robert DeLucia, Vice President and General Counsel, AIR Conference; Russell Bailey, Air Line Pilots Association; Jerrold Glass, President, F&H Soluntions Group

“Legal and Policy Issues Surrounding Orbital Debris, Space Situational Awareness and Space Traffic Management”
Moderator: Joanne Gabrynowicz, Director, National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law, The University of Mississippi School of law
Panelists: Sam McDonald, Office of Space and Advanced Technology, U.S. Department of State; Karl Kensinger, Satellite Division, International Bureau, Federal Communications Commission; Chris Kunstadter, Vice President Space, XL Insurance

“Litigation: 3-D Legal Review of an Air Disaster”
Moderator: Don Nolan, Nolan Law Group
Panelists: Mark Dombroff, Dombroff Gilmore Jacques & French PC; David Grizzle, Chief Counsel, Federal Aviation Administration; James Hall, Hall & Associates; Tom McLaughliin, Perkins Coie

“Airport Challenges: Young Lawyers Take a Strategic View”
Moderator: Brian Havel, Director, International Aviation law Institute, DePaul University College of Law
Panelists: Sara Hall, General Counsel, Memphis International Airport; Jennifer Andrews, Eckert Seamans; Andrew Eastmond, Ricondo and Associates; Beth Weir, Office of the Chief Counsel, Federal Aviation Administration; Gabriel Sanchez, FedEx/United Research Fellow, International Aviation Law Institute, DePaul University College of Law; India Pinkney, Office of the Chief Counsel, Federal Aviation Administration

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