ABA 2010: Ethical Issues in Aviation Law

October 27, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event, Blogcast | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The first panel of the afternoon was Ethical Issues in Aviation Law and was chaired by Tom O’Grady, Alaska Air Group. Panelists included Rob Kelly, Department of Justice (and University of Mississippi School of Law alum); Mollie O’Brien, Nolan Law Group; William O’Connor, Morrison & Foerster; and Tae Mee Park, Bersenas Jacobsen Chouset Thomson Blackburn.

O’Brien started the discussion with an overview of the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act. She stated that this act gave the NTSB duties in dealing with the immediate needs of families during aviation accidents. She said that one one of the primary requirements was that the NTSB develop a plan on how to manage relations with family members and address the needs of families. She noted that the act prohibits unsolicited communications from attorneys and potential parties to the litigation within 45 days of an accident.

Parks started her comment by noting that there was no absolute ban on solicitation in Canada. Instead, she said, solicitation was guided by Canadian Bar ethics rules. She said that these rules were flexible, but disallowed “unconscionable” conduct, while recognizing the need for families to have access to legal resources.

Kelly started his comments focused on how government agencies interact with parties during aviation accidents. He said that a great deal of this depends on the function of the particular agency. The conversation then turned to the use of fifth amendment rights during aviation disasters. Kelly stated that corporations have no fifth amendment rights.

O’Connor then discussed fifth amendment rights as the applied to employees of corporations. He said in some instances the employees have access to use that right. He also discussed the use of attorney client privileges by corporation, which the panel then moved forward in discussing. This was highlighted in relation the decision to prosecute.

ABA 2010: Labor Relations Update

October 27, 2010 at 10:10 am | Posted in Blogcast, Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The second panel of the day was the Labor Relations Update chaired by Robert DeLucia, AIRCON. The panelists were Donald W. Maliniak, Littler Mendelson; Marcus C. Migliore, ALPA; and E. Scott Smith, Fisher and Phillips.

Migliore started with a discussion on proposed limitations on flight duty time. He stated that ALPA’s position was that the current regulations did not protect flight crews nor lead to safety for the passengers on planes. He said that these changes would affect both the training regime as well as flight duty times. He stated that it was currently unclear as to exactly what the changes were going to be, but that the changes were coming. He said that the changes will affect labor relations in the realm of negotiating, hiring, pay, and scheduling.

Maliniak continued the discussion of the proposed changes. He said that the changes could be extensive and could affect a variety of issues in a collective bargaining agreement. He said that one of the problems with the proposed rules is that they did not address the commuting pilot (i.e. the practice of pilots flying to catch the plane that they are piloting). He stated that a comprehensive study and then regulations in order to cope with this was needed.

Smith stated that the proposed rules do include commuting time as duty time, and this would help to restrict the airlines and that there would be effects in bargaining between labor and the airlines as a result of this. Smith then moved to a discussion of new rules affecting collective bargaining and voting within Unions.

The panel also discussed how mergers and consolidation affect labor relations for airlines, how disputes are settled, and legislative measures that affect labor relations.

ABA 2010: Climate Change & Aviation – The Evolving Legal Landscape

October 26, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event, Blogcast | Leave a comment

By P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Climate Change & Aviation – The Evolving Legal Landscape was moderated by Nancy Young, Air Transport Association. Panelists included Edward L. Ferguson, Boeing; Nancy D. LoBue, FAA; Leah Raney, Continental Airline; and Andy Steinberg, Jones Day.

Raney stated that climate change was a major issue for the airlines. She stated that the majority of greenhouse emissions from airline operations are from the burning of fuel while spacecraft are in flight. She stated that there were costs and benefits involved with reducing these emissions.

Ferguson stated that a major problem was a patchwork of regulatory regimes. He stated that this could reduce the competitiveness of the entire industry. He stated that the industry needed to take the helm to fix the problem to avoid such a situation.

LoBue stated that the FAA had an interest in creating a sustainable industry, and that part of this was helping ensure that the regulatory regime was effective but not burdensome.

Steinberg highlighted the idea that the international perspective was very important in this. He endorsed the use of the ICAO regime as opposed to creating different national regimes that are not harmonized.

The panelists were then asked to respond to how a global response could be organized. LoBue discussed briefly the negotiations and work being done at ICAO. She stated that progress was being made in the ICAO assembly, but that there were still some obstacles to be tackled before international agreement on these matters would be complete.

The panel then began a discussion of the EU directive on aviation greenhouse gases and the legal challenges that are now taking place in court in the UK. Raney stated that at the heart of the dispute was the extraterritoriality of the directive. Ferguson noted that the taxes imposed were not limited to flights originating in Europe. Steinberg discussed the particular legal issues involved with the case. He said at issue was the extent that the parties can rely on international law sources (trsovereignty custom), sovereignty issues, and whether the trading scheme violates the Chicago Convention.

The panel then had an in depth discussion on specific challenges and strategies for addressing the issues of aviation emissions on a global level, with specific reference to the United States’ position and posture in this area.

TASC takes off on $828M FAA NextGen award

October 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Washington Technology

TASC Inc. will help the Federal Aviation Administration transition to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) under a 10-year contract worth as much as $827.8 million.

The National Airspace System support services award will enable FAA to make a smooth and successful transition to the satellite-based network that will replace the radar-based air traffic control system, according to a company statement released today.

NASA Seeks More Proposals On Commercial Crew Development

October 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Posted in Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: NASA

WASHINGTON — NASA has issued an announcement seeking proposals from U. S. industry to further advance commercial crew space transportation concepts and mature the design and development of system elements, such as launch vehicles and spacecraft. Awards will result in funded Space Act Agreements.

Multiple awards are expected to be announced by March 2011 for terms of up to 14 months. Approximately $200 million total is expected to be available for awards under this announcement, but funding is dependent on the 2011 fiscal year appropriations from Congress. The deadline for submitting proposals is Dec. 13.  Full release.

Contract for operation of Galileo satellites awarded to DLR’s Space Applications Company

October 26, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: DLR

On 25 October 2010, the development of Galileo, the future European satellite navigation system, reached another important milestone. In Brussels, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Spaceopal GmbH signed a contract for the operation of 18 Galileo satellites.

Spaceopal is a joint venture between the DLR Space Applications Company (Gesellschaft für Raumfahrtanwendungen mbH; GfR) and the Italian company Telespazio S.p.A. DLR GfR was founded in 2008 in Oberpfaffenhofen, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). “The signing of this contract demonstrates the strong commitment and the clear political will to create an independent global satellite navigation system in Europe,” said the Chairman of the DLR Executive Board, Johann-Dietrich Wörner.

ESA and DLR sign MOU regarding Innovative Space Data Transmission

October 26, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Softpedia.com

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have just signed a new agreement, which paves the way for the development of an advanced type of optical data relay terminal

The state-of-the-art device should fly on the Sentinel 2 satellite, which ESA will launch soon. The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding together.

The document was signed today, October 21, in Paris, at the ESA Headquarters.

ABA 2010: Current Trends in International Aviation

October 26, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

By P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Third panel of the meeting was titled Current Trends in International Aviation and was moderated by Arthur Molins, Lufthansa German Airlines. Panelists included Shawn Christensen, Westjet; Sam Poderesky, Department of Transportation; Paul Jasinski, British Airways; Jaun Carlos Mencio, LAN Airlines; and a representative from Ethiopian Airlines whose name did not appear in the program (it was given from the podium, but I unfortunately did not capture it).

Poderesky began with comments on new regulations on passenger rights in commercial aviation. He stated that the rules were relatively new, so that much were still being learned about them. He noted that these regulations dealt with delayed flights, Tarmac delays, and reporting of certain data on airline websites. He said that so far there have not been any major problems with the new regulations since they have been implemented.

Jasinski discussed a new notice of proposed rule making that could extend many of these requirements to foreign carriers. He addressed the problems of extraterritoriality with this proposed rule making, but stated that a seamless system was a desirable thing for both enhancing service to passengers, but also to create a manageable regulatory network with which airlines interact. He said that harmonizing these regulations would be very favorable.

Mencio stated that regulating customer service was something that was often handled by the market, stating that his airline was up to standard because it wanted to compete. He also, addressed extraterritoriality and that extraterritorial implementation of regulations have cultural issues as well. He stated that in South American markets the view of airline service on a variety of levels was culturally different from American perspectives.

The Ethiopian Airlines representative stated that a patchwork of international regulations could be very difficult for smaller airlines to navigate. He said that this burden needed to be dealt with in order to allow these types of regulations to be effective but also to allow small airlines to continue to function.

The discussion then turned to airline finance issues, open skies agreements, consolidation of airlines, and numerous other international issues.

ABA 2010: Commercial Spaceports – The New Frontier

October 26, 2010 at 10:05 am | Posted in Blogcast, Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

By P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The second panel of the day was titled Commercial Spaceports – The New Frontier and was moderated by Monica R. Hargrove, Airports Council International – North America. Panelists were David Hooper, GAO; Todd Linder, Jacksonville Aviation Authority; Rene J. Rey, FAA; and Laura Montgomery, FAA. This panel focused on the legal and regulatory issues raised by the concept of commercial spaceports.

Montgomery started by discussing what constitutes a spaceport in the legal and regulatory since. She stated that the word “spaceport” does not occur in the the statutory language. Instead she stated that the laws and regulations use “launch site” and “re-entry site.” She stated that historically these sites have been run by the federal government, but with the dawn of commercial spaceflight, the FAA was given competency to regulate such sites.

Rey then gave a summary of the commercial launch sites in the United States. First, he discussed the the Sealaunch platform and how it works. He said that it primarily services geosynchronous orbit. The he turned to discussing the Mojave space port, which is intended to service primarily suborbital space tourism activities. Finally, he highlighted the Kodiak Launch complex which services LEO.

Montgomery then discussed the development of the regulations of these sites. She said when they were first developed they were intended to govern ELVs, but they have had to be changed in order to adapt to the changing nature of commercial spaceflight. She stated that these regulations were intended to protect the civilian population from the high risks involved with launch activities. She stated that it was important to note that the regulations differentiate between the site operator and the launch operator, who have different responsibilities under the regulations.

Linder then discussed the licensing of Cecil Field in Jacksonville, FL as a launch site. He gave a brief history of Cecil Field and why it was chosen. Next, he moved to process of getting licensed. He said that one of the primary obstacles was the environmental assessment required by the EPA. he stated that once the finding of no significant impact was granted that the Jacksonville Aviation Authority was able to move forward on receiving it’s license from the FAA. He also discussed funding options that were available for commercial spaceports. He stated that after investigating the matter, the Jacksonville Authority decided to fund the entire project itself. He also discussed how the authority worked with various stakeholders to ensure that safety and security needs of all stakeholders were addressed.

Hooper then discussed the GAO’s involvement in research into the legal challenges that surround such enterprises. He said this research started as a 2006 report and continued in testimony given in 2009. He stated that one of the findings was that there would be significant growth in this area. He also stated that standards for ELVs and RLVs could differ between the FAA and other entities such as the Air Force, and that this caused industry concern. He said that this work was done in preparation for the 2012 sunsetting of many of the CSLAA requirements. He stated that there were concerns about the FAA’s dual responsibility to promote the industry as well as to regulate the industry’s safety. He concluded with a discussion of the issue of indemnification requirements for launch providers, and the continued renewal of the indemnification requirement.

ABA Forum 2010: Aviation Security and the Privacy Fulcrum

October 26, 2010 at 9:32 am | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event, Blogcast | Leave a comment

By P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The first panel of the conference was Aviation Security and the Privacy Fulcrum and was moderated by Stephen J. McHale, Patton Boggs, LLP. Panelists included Brian Alseth, ACLU; Stewart Baker, Steptoe and Johnson; Christopher Bidwell, Airports Council International – North America; and Margo Schlanger, Department of Homeland Security. The panel focused on the intersection of security and privacy issues in airport security. Specific reference was made to how evolving technologies and methodologies affect these issues.

Schlanger began with comments on home DHS and TSA work to create policies that support civil liberties. She stated that this was done internally but with a great deal of input from stakeholders, whom she stated were involved throughout the policy making process. She also stated that once policies are created that there is training to ensure that implementation is done effectively. Finally, she said that there are outreach and redress procedures in order to make sure that concerned stakeholders understand policies and have a way to give feedback on them.

Alseth’s initial comments focused on striking the balance between security and privacy. He stated that he felt one of the major problems in the security process was the knee-jerk implementation of new technology after incidents. He said that the ACLU wasn’t concerned about new technology, but rather was concerned with the effectiveness of these implementation and the protection of privacy during this implementation.

Baker started by discussing his research into the history of aviation terrorism and the technology involved. He stated that in the past there has been a systemic problem in implementation of new technologies and stated that there has been a specific risk involved with the ineffectual use of these technologies.

Bidwell noted that the top priority in the aviation industry was to ensure the safety of passengers. He noted that there was a disconnect in the perception of passengers, however. He stated that passengers see a procedure, regardless of where the new procedure originates, it is associated with the airport. He then stated that communication was key in order to ensure that passengers understand the reasoning behind new policies and technologies. He also highlighted how implementation of new technologies create costs for airports, which means that careful analysis of these new technologies is crucial in order to both ensure safety and the ability of airports to effectively implement the new technologies.

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