August 21, 2019

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Aviation Law

Aviation law covers the maintenance and operation of airplanes, aircraft and their facilities. The primary enforcer of aviation regulations is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This is a very specialized area of law, so the advice of an Aviation Attorney is recommended. View qualified Aviation Law Firms in your area to find Aviation Lawyers.

Aviation Lawsuits

Aircraft Accidents

Airplane accidents that cause injury result in lawsuits in both state and federal courts. In preparation for such a case, your attorney will first engage in significant evidence gathering including:

  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Obtaining technical data – including radar and voice recordings
  • Identifying and ensuring physical evidence is being preserved

Product Liability

If your aviation-related injury was the result of a defective product, the manufacturer may be strictly liable for your injury – meaning you will not need to prove that it was negligent (see Products Liability Law). Many states impose strict liability on aviation products because they are unreasonably dangerous for ordinary people to use, or because the product has failed to work as expected.

Federal Agencies

Federal Aviation Administration

The FAA ensures that federal standards are met for the maintenance, manufacture, and operation of all aircraft in the U.S. The FAA enforces aviation laws and creates new regulations, including:

  • Developing new aeronautics and technology
  • Developing the National Airspace System
  • Controlling aircraft noise
  • Regulating civil aviation
  • Operating air traffic control systems
  • Regulating the commercial use of outer space

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

The NTSB has a wide-array of responsibilities including:

  • Investigating all civil aviation accidents
  • Proposing new rules and regulations to improve safety
  • Maintaining a database of aviation accidents
  • Conducting studies of safety issues
  • Acting as an arbiter for mechanics and airmen when action has been taken against them by the FAA

Since it began in 1967, the NTSB has investigated over 124,000 aviation accidents and issued more than 12,000 recommendations. In 2008, the NTSB investigated over 1,500 accidents out of which more than 250 had fatalities. You may research aviation accidents at

Transportation Security Administration

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was set-up after September 11, 2001 in response to those horrific attacks. The TSA is now responsible for security in the airports and the air, including:

  • Having air marshals on domestic and international flights
  • Operating airport checkpoints
  • Passenger pre-screening
  • Checking watch lists and passenger manifests
  • Screening checked and carry-on luggage


Airline industry workers are given special protection from retaliation, punishment, or discharge by an aviation employer when the employee does one of the following:

  • Reports a safety violation
  • Thinks about reporting a violation of a safety standard or regulation
  • Files a proceeding
  • Testifies in a proceeding

Related areas:

Maritime Law, Administrative Law, Product Liability, Litigation, Wrongful Termination