Airlines

Overview

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. represents the commercial aviation industry through its principal trade association as well as individual airlines on all environmental matters related to aviation including issues that arise under NEPA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Federal Aviation Regulations, the Federal Aviation Act and ANCA, ICAO and the Chicago Convention.

We also regularly handle litigation involving FAA and EPA rulemaking challenges, intervention in actions to uphold airport EIS decisions and to support favorable FAA rulemakings and other agency action, takings and nuisance issues related to aircraft operations, and federal preemption actions under the Federal Aviation Act, the Airline Deregulation Act and the Airport Improvement Act. Our long experience with the industry enables us to craft strategies that not only succeed legally but also advance the business goals of our aviation clients.

Full Description

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. Beveridge & Diamond's experience in this area is substantial.

Beveridge & Diamond represents the commercial aviation industry through its principal trade association as well as individual airlines on all environmental matters related to aviation including issues that arise under NEPA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, Parts 36, 91, 150 and 161 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, the Federal Aviation Act and  ANCA , ICAO and the Chicago Convention.

We also regularly handle litigation involving FAA and EPA rulemaking challenges, intervention in actions to uphold airport EIS decisions and to support favorable FAA rulemakings and final agency action, takings and nuisance issues related to aircraft operations. We have successfully litigated at the state and federal level a variety federal preemption actions under the Federal Aviation Act, the Airline Deregulation Act, ANCA and the Airport Improvement Act.

For the past ten years, we have 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 more than one hundred sets of 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.

By way of example, we have worked extensively on matters related to National Ambient Air Quality Standards, Sections 231- 234 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) (governing aircraft engine emissions), Section 209 of the CAA (governing emissions from ground support equipment), California emission requirements and issues involving conformity and airport "bubbles." We have also performed legal, regulatory and technical work relating to jet fuel and diesel fuel and airport fuel storage and distribution facilities.

With respect to aircraft-related noise issues, we have handled litigation and regulatory noise issues as they relate to aircraft and airport environs for more than ten years. We have represented commercial carriers and the airline industry successfully on matters related to the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (ANCA) and FAR Parts 36, 91, 161 and 150, and written numerous comments, advocacy documents and briefing papers on these matters. As a result of this and other work we have performed for the airlines, we have a thorough understanding of noise modeling, noise metrics and noise mitigation. Similarly, we have become well-versed in the economic, policy and operational/maintenance issues associated with restrictions on aircraft noise.

Disputes relating to noise consistently arise in the context of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We have been involved in every aspect of the NEPA process as it relates to major airports across the country, working with consultants, preparing comments, testifying in public fora, negotiating with airport and FAA officials and pursuing and defending against litigation. Similarly, our work on matters arising under NEPA and concurrent state authorities has provided us with extensive experience on airport-related environmental issues associated with airport expansion and construction. The comprehensive environmental assessment and evaluation requirements of NEPA have thus given us a greater understanding of the types of facilities and operations associated with airports and the key issues related to them.

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