Category Archives: General

#Goodjobs and #Airportfails: U.S. Airports are Getting Their Wings on Smart Use of Social Media

When the power failed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport this past December, the response by the world’s busiest airport included a relatively new tactic for airports — talking about it on Twitter. Hartsfield’s communications team used the social media platform to convey information that made a real difference for frustrated travelers. The tweets included a list of hotels that still had available rooms (some for free for those who were stranded), real-time updates from the FAA, Georgia Power, Delta Airlines and the mayor, and even an uplifting article detailing acts of heroism carried out by everyday folks during the outage. …

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Christopher Hart – Safety Advocate, Deep Thinker, Gentleman

Christopher Hart, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Board Member, and former NTSB Vice Chairman and Chairman, announced he will be leaving the agency on January 31.  He has been an outstanding leader and advocate to enhance safety in all modes of transportation. We both have known Chris for many years and worked with — and David working for — Chris and salute his long and distinguished career at the NTSB, FAA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Department of Transportation’s General Counsel Office. Chris initially served as an NTSB Board Member from 1990 to 1993. He then …

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Only One Week To Go….

Time is running out to register for the LeClairRyan 2018 Aviation Symposium “An Airplane Is Down . . . .!”: First Responders, Family Assistance, Emergency Response and More.. Where else can you… Hear from the Malaysia Airlines emergency response team handling MH 370 and MH 17 Listen to a panel on dealing with disruptive passengers Hear about what corporate flight departments can learn from the airlines and vice versa Hear from the chairman of the NTSB and the acting administrator of the FAA Learn about responding to emergencies such as hurricanes, active shooters and cyber threats Hear about how to work …

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Privacy is None of the FAA’s Business

While most people agree that unmanned aircraft raise unique privacy issues, the question remains who is in the best position to deal with those concerns.  The FAA has repeatedly indicated that it does not have the resources, expertise, or inclination to be the nation’s drone privacy watchdog.  As a result, privacy issues continue to be worked out at the state and local levels. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) disagrees with this approach, and has spent years attempting to force the FAA to conduct a comprehensive rulemaking on drone privacy and enforcement.  After several false starts, the United States Court …

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NTSB Reauthorization Proposal- Part II

In Part I of this post, we described various provisions in S. 2202, the National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act, as reported by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on December 13, 2017. There we focused on those sections of the bill that would be of particular interest to our readers. In this post, we focus on bill provisions that would directly affect NTSB operations and activities — provisions that will also be of considerable interest to our readers. As briefly indicated last time, several of the NTSB provisions, if enacted, will impose operational and resource challenges …

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An Insightful Overview of and Answers to the Aviation Industry’s Top Questions

Diane Westwood Wilson, LeClairRyan Aviation Team Co-Chair and Shareholder, and Partner Rebecca Tingey have written the USA Chapter for the 6th Edition of  The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Aviation Law 2018. In this chapter they discuss some hard hitting topics such as: The primary regulatory bodies and legislation that govern air safety with respect to commercial, cargo, and private carriers Rules and regulations governing the registration of mortgages and other security interests in aircraft Rights and remedies available to resolve aviation disputes The regulation of joint ventures between airline competitors …and so much more. The chapter can be found HERE …

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It’s Not Nice to Fool The NTSB

Those of us of a certain age will remember the television ad for margarine that tastes so much like butter that even Mother Nature is fooled.  When Mother Nature learns that the product is not her “delicious butter,” she vexedly responds “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!”  Well, as we’re seeing for the second time in 16 months, our federal criminal justice system is also telling us it’s not nice to fool (or allegedly fool) the NTSB. Last week the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska announced that a grand jury in Anchorage returned a three-count indictment …

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Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program Gets Extended to Drug and Alcohol Programs, Unless…

The Federal Aviation Administration relies heavily on voluntary compliance with its regulations.  As part of its strategy, the FAA encourages regulated entities to participate in voluntary disclosure reporting programs (VDRP) to ensure that sporadic issues do not become systemic problems.  The idea is that if an employer detects a problem and takes immediate, strong corrective action, the FAA will forgo issuing a civil penalty for the violation. The FAA just recently issued a new Advisory Circular (AC 120-117) that details how regulated entities may take advantage of the VDRP for violations of the drug and alcohol testing regulations contained in …

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Just One Month Until The 2018 Aviation Symposium

Plans are finalized, and the clock is ticking louder and louder. There are only a few weeks left until our biggest and best Symposium yet. If you haven’t registered yet, please do so now. In addition to focusing on working with first responders, including the fire department, police department, MEs, EMTs and others, we have panels on: Dealing with the increasingly common issue of the disruptive passenger Hurricanes, hacking, active shooters and other non-aviation aviation emergencies, including effectively using social media Cuba a year later…boom or bust? “I can hack your airplane…” Airline lessons for corporate flight departments And more! …

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Drones and Liability—Four Ways to Protect Yourself

A gas company needs to inspect a far-flung pipeline. A brokerage firm seeks aerial views of a shopping mall. A pizza chain envisions delivering a pie to home plate as part of a baseball-themed ad campaign. In each of these hypothetical cases, management could turn to technology that is increasingly becoming part of American life—Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or “drones” for short. While the U.S. military has been flying drones for 30 years, the whirring, remote-controlled aircraft are now on the shelf at just about every discount store or electronics retailer in the country. They are also getting cheaper and …

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