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New Legislation in Aviation Law

(161 reviews)

Produced on November 09, 2017

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Course Information

Time 1h 31m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Litigation Aviation

Course Description

Aviation is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the United States. While the Federal Aviation Administration runs the National Airspace System on a day-to-day basis, the ultimate direction for aviation policy is set by Congress. This year, the Congress has proposed broad legislation that affects all areas of aviation. These include:

  • How air traffic control services are provided;

  • How aircraft are certified;

  • Aircraft noise issues;

  • Flight and duty time;

  • Penalties for bumping and denied boarding;

  • Aircraft registration;

  • Use of unmanned aircraft for beyond visual line of sight operations and package delivery.

Congress is also taking a hard look the scope of federal preemption over state and local laws affecting the lower levels of the airspace. State and local governments have continued to pass new laws governing the use of unmanned aircraft at a rapid pace. While aircraft operators have begun pushing back against these new laws, leading to important new decisions federal preemption decisions.

This course, presented by attorney Mark McKinnon, will provide up to date information on new legislative actions and proposals that will impact the future of aviation.  

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the scope of Federal preemption over state and local laws affecting airspace
  2. Identify the proper roles of state and local government in aviation regulation
  3. Discuss new legislative actions and proposals in the field of aviation

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Mark E. McKinnon


Mark has worked for over 23 years in all areas of aviation and transportation law, including litigation, appellate, regulatory and other administrative matters. He is a founding member of the firm's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) practice and has written and spoken extensively on UAS and aviation matters. In addition, he is co-editor of the Plane-ly Spoken Blog, which is dedicated to providing up to date news, analysis, and opinion on issues that affect the aviation industry.   

Mark began his career as a law clerk for the Honorable Richard Suhrheinrich on both the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, giving him valuable insights into all aspects of the operations of the federal courts. Mark has extensive appellate and litigation experience in a wide range of areas including foreign and domestic mass disasters, multidistrict litigation, federal aviation regulatory and enforcement actions, insurance coverage, complex commercial litigation involving intellectual property and unfair trade practices, the Federal Tort Claims Act, and government contractor actions.

Mark has also litigated and advised clients on numerous aspects of international air transportation, including the application of the Warsaw Convention, Hague Convention, Montreal Protocols, Montreal Convention, and International Civil Aviation Organization’s International Standards and Recommended Practices.

Mark has assisted a number of clients in their efforts to obtain approval of their commercial UAS operations, including preparation and filing of exemptions and development of Operations Manuals.

Mark has represented clients in cases pending before the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and the District of Columbia Circuits, the United States Supreme Court, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the Florida Court of Appeals, Ohio Court of Appeals, Ohio Supreme Court, Mississippi Supreme Court, and national Transportation safety Board. Mr. McKinnon has also represented clients in a number of international arbitrations, including proceedings in Malaysia, Singapore, and South Africa.


  • In re Air Crash Disaster off Point Mugu, California: Mark worked on all aspects of the litigation arising from the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, including proceedings before the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration. The occurrence of the accident in waters outside state territorial limits, and also outside the scope of the Death on the High Seas Act required application of maritime law to complex aviation accident issues.
  • Crane Co v. Kitzinger: Appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court of a liability and seven figure punitive damage award for an accident involving a maritime elevator on an offshore oil platform. The Court reversed and remanded for a new trial on all issues.
  • 9/11 Litigation: Mark worked on numerous aspects of the litigation arising from the tragic events of September 11, 2001, including representation of several airports involved in the litigation and coverage issues involving several security firms.

Activities and Affiliations


  • Keynote Speaker, "UAS Integration into the National Airspace," Drone Expo Los Angeles, December 2014
  • Speaker, "UAS Regulation and Certification in the US and Foreign Countries," Airline Pilot's Association, Positioning the US Airline Industry for Success, December 2014
  • Speaker, "Lessons Learned from the Concorde Disaster," 2014 Global Foreign Object Damage Prevention Conference, December 2014
  • Panelist, American Association of Airport Executive's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Workshop, Reno, Nevada, November 2014
  • Speaker, "Current UAS Regulatory Landscape," MRO Symposium, September 2014
  • Panelist, "UAS Insurance and Liability Issues," AUVSI Workshop - Getting Airborne with UAS, August 2014
  • Panelist, "FAA Enforcement Actions Against UAS Operators," UAS Symposium. June 2014


Charles S.

A lot of substantive information.

Debbie Ann R.

Very informative.

Andrew P.

Excellent program Please do an updated version Please offer more presentations on aviation, space and drone law

Karen F.

I loved this seminar and would like a 2020 update.

Georgian P.

Very interesting topic. Speaker was informative and knowledgeable. Enjoyed the course material. He is an effective communicator.

Anthony M.


David M.

This is not my area of practice, but one I am very curious about. The program was interesting and we'll presented.

Jeffrey M.

Very informative!

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