Aviation Law

Matthew G. Berard
Matthew G. Berard Committee Chair Bowman and Brooke LLP Troy, MI

About the Committee

In the United States alone, between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000 people travel by air every day. Some travel as part of their job, for business, or simply for pleasure. Still, the intricacies of air travel are infinite. By the time you sit back and relax in your assigned seat, thousands of employees have worked to design and manufacture that aircraft; mechanics have just finished scheduled or unscheduled maintenance; pilots have applied thousands of hours of experience and training on pre-flight checks; cleaning crews have just exited the aircraft; suppliers have replenished the aircraft with food and beverages; precise amounts of fuel have been pumped into the aircraft; ramp workers have sorted thousands of pieces of luggage; you have traversed an airport that is developed and operated by thousands of employees in accordance with complex federal regulations; and air traffic controllers are tracing routes to ensure air safety. Moreover, 9/11's strict security measures have been implemented and carriers and passengers alike have to comply with and undergo security checks commanded by the Transportation Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

For those attorneys who are intrigued by all the onstage and backstage intricacies of the aviation business, or are just attracted to the pleasure of flying, the Aviation Law Committee is for you!

We are professionals who work and are interested in the field of aviation law. Our committee includes attorneys defending the interests of airlines, airports, aircraft component manufacturers and suppliers, fixed base operators, maintenance organizations, aviation brokers, insurers/reinsurers, and publishers of aeronautical data and training facilities, on a national and international scale. Committee members counsel clients in complex commercial transactions regarding the purchase and sale of aircraft, both large and small. Others represent clients in regulatory and enforcement matters before the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board, as well as other international agencies and authorities. Still others are involved in litigation arising from international and domestic aviation accidents and disputes regarding the performance of aerospace products. Many of our Committee members have technical experience as pilots, aircraft mechanics and even air traffic controllers!

But we are not just attorneys: we are also insurers, consultants and industry experts. In other words, we offer contacts, kinship and knowledge. We also provide educational opportunities ranging from a compendium of laws relevant to aviation of the 50 states to our newsletter and magazine contributions, which further the knowledge of even our most erudite members. For those of you looking to impart your knowledge to others or simply polish that ever-evolving CV and increase exposure, you are welcome to submit articles to our newsletter, Skywritings, or any of the other publications to which we contribute, such as For The Defense. Likewise, we always welcome contributors for the law program we present each year at the DRI Annual Meeting.

Our membership is on the rise, as young and mid-level attorneys, as well as experienced practitioners, continue to discover the unique opportunities our committee has to offer.

We are recruiting and appointing the next generation of leadership for our committee. If this sounds like activity that would further your professional development, or would just be fun, we want to welcome you.

Please join us. We invite you to get involved today with the Aviation Law Committee and help plan and lead our activities, presentations and publications for the coming year.

Additional Resources