Conner & Winters provides sophisticated and experienced legal representation to the dynamic and competitive aviation industry.  Detailed regulatory requirements and procedures, along with economics and frequent developments concerning ownership and operational issues combine to command the services of experienced counsel.  Conner & Winters has long been devoted to maintaining the breadth of professional legal talent necessary to service clients in many aspects of this complex industry.

The firm has represented the owners of private and commercial aircraft and FAA certified Part 121 and 135 commercial air carriers in a wide variety of transactions and arrangements.  Our attorneys have particularized experience in the following areas:

Acquisitions and Financing

Conner & Winters attorneys have been involved in numerous aircraft and engine acquisition and financing transactions.  Our capabilities in this area include:

  • Drafting and negotiating aircraft and engine purchase and sale agreements
  • Negotiating financing arrangements for acquisitions and ongoing operations
  • Pre-closing due diligence
  • Risk management advice
  • Closing logistics

Our corporate and securities practice area page includes additional information.

Airline Operations

Conner & Winters attorneys provide advice to aviation clients on a broad spectrum of matters arising in the course of ongoing operations.  Our capabilities in this area include drafting, negotiation and/or advice regarding a variety of matters, including:

  • Aircraft and engine lease arrangements
  • ACMI (wet lease) arrangements, including agreements with foreign airlines
  • Aircraft charter arrangements (both short-term and long-term)
  • Aircraft conversion agreements
  • Maintenance agreements
  • Risk management
  • Contractor team arrangements with the U.S. government (including CRAF)
  • Regulatory compliance matters, including matters with the FAA and NTSB

Investigations and Litigation

The firm represents pilots, aircraft owners, repair stations and product manufacturers in investigations and the follow-on litigation arising out of aircraft and helicopter accidents and incidents in both federal and state courts.  Our lawyers have represented pilots and other airmen in administrative matters with the FAA and NTSB arising out of Letters of Investigation, Notices of Proposed Civil Penalty and Notices of Certificate Actions.

Our litigation practice area page includes additional information.

Whistleblower Matters

Like many other highly regulated industries, the aviation industry is subject to specific federal laws that prohibit retaliation against employees.  Air carriers and other industry participants may not retaliate against employees who report safety concerns (referred to as whistleblowers).  An employee who believes he was retaliated against may pursue civil litigation against his employer.  In addition, the FAA maintains its own whistleblower protection program.  Our attorneys are among the most experienced in the nation in representing aviation industry employers in whistleblower matters, including regulatory matters, litigation, counseling, investigation and training.

Labor and Employment Matters

The firm’s labor and employment practice attorneys advise aviation industry clients on a regular basis.  Our capabilities in this area include:

  • Protection of trade secrets and other proprietary information
  • Railway Labor Act matters that govern Part 121 air carriers and their unions
  • Advice regarding union organizing efforts
  • Union contract negotiations
  • Defense against allegations and/or charges of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and unfair labor practices
  • Arbitration of grievances
  • Advice regarding day to day personnel actions

Our labor and employment practice area page includes additional information.


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