In the age of COVID-19, there is a renewed interest in the principles of federalism and the limits of federal power, including the power of the Federal Aviation Administration.  More and more, commentators and legislators are arguing that the FAA should not be the sole arbiter of how the national airspace is used, particularly below 400 feet.

This is, of course, a faulty premise upon which to build an argument. … Read More

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to establish the standards for remote identification of unmanned aircraft closed on March 2, 2020.  The NPRM garnered over 53,000 comments, both pro and con, concerning the contours of the final rule.  While there is still no official word on what the final rule will look like, FAA actions seem to confirm that the final rule will look a lot like the draft rule.… Read More

The aviation industry, like the rest of America, is gearing up for the reopening of America for business.  As we do so, it is important to keep on top of the latest recommended “best practices” necessary to keep the COVID-19 virus from rebounding.  Unfortunately, finding these resources can sometimes be difficult.

We at Plane-ly Spoken are here to help.  The following is our collection of links, arranged by topic and government agency, of aviation industry related COVID-19 guidance.… Read More

The Federal Aviation Administration has just issued a new Safety Alert for Operators, (SAFO) containing guidance for airlines and aircrews on how to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Overall, the SAFO instructs airlines to follow the CDC’s guidance for the protection for employees in critical infrastructure jobs.  The FAA confirms that no airline employee should work if they have any symptoms of the virus, and that all employees exposed to someone who tests positive for the virus should be quarantined for fourteen days. … Read More

On March 16, 2020, the White House declared a national emergency, retroactive to March 1, 2020.  The resultant “shutdown” of our county has impacted every phase of life in America, with the aviation industry among the hardest hit.

It is not just private industry that is affected.  Both the FAA and the NTSB are also under “stay at home” orders. What this means, at least relative to the NTSB, is that accidents which have occurred during this period of shutdown have generally not involved a field investigation. … Read More

With the wrenching and pervasive cessation of normal business and societal activities in the past few weeks, Fox Rothschild has been addressing questions from transportation industry clients concerning their ongoing responsibilities for complying with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol testing requirements during these difficult times.

On March 23, 2020, DOT issued Guidance on Compliance with Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations. … Read More

On March 9, 2020, the Interim Investigation Report (“Report”) into the March 10, 2019, crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737-8 (MAX) was issued.  The Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau’s (“Bureau”)138 page Report devotes approximately two pages to a description of the pilot’s/copilot’s experience, hours, etc., and one page to Ethiopian Airlines training program.  There is virtually no analysis anywhere in the 138 pages of the crew’s performance. … Read More

On March 11, 2020, an aircraft carrying an ill passenger landed at Palm Beach International Airport.  Apparently, the passenger had been feeling bad for a while, and had been tested for coronavirus.  A passenger on the plane was quoted as saying that the ill man’s wife:

was sitting in the same row as me and mentioned to others that he wasn’t feeling well.… Read More

JOIN US TOMORROW AT 1 PM EASTERN FOR OUR FREE WEBINAR DISSECTING THE REMOTE ID NPRM COMMENTS AND PREDICTIONS FOR THE FINAL RULE

In this free webinar, we will go through the thousands of comments that were submitted and analyze whether the public believes the FAA has hit the “Goldilocks Solution;” not too hard, not too soft, but just right. Among the topics will be:

  • How did key players in the UAS industry view the rule?
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JOIN US ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 2020 AT 1 PM EASTERN FOR OUR FREE WEBINAR DISSECTING THE REMOTE ID NPRM COMMENTS AND PREDICTIONS FOR THE FINAL RULE

On December 31, 2019, the FAA released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft. After years of waiting, the time had finally come for the public to make its voice heard on this key issue.… Read More