David Heffernan is a member of the firm’s Transportation & Trade Group and co-chair of the Aviation Industry Team. David represents major U.S. and foreign passenger and cargo airlines and their trade associations, airports, aircraft, engine, and other equipment manufacturers, air travel distribution companies, air/ground express delivery and logistics companies, and other aviation industry participants before various government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Homeland Security, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
David assists clients in obtaining economic authority, code-share authority, international frequencies and routes, and antitrust immunity. He advises clients on U.S. laws, regulations, legislation, and DOT/FAA/TSA policies with respect to such issues as mergers, acquisitions, airline alliances and joint ventures, computer reservations systems and air travel distribution regulation, licensing and certification, taxes and fees, airport slots, rates and charges, advertising and consumer enforcement policies, aviation safety and security, and competition policy.
He also advises clients on the sale, lease, and financing of aircraft, engines, and other aviation assets, including large commercial and private corporate aircraft. In addition, he advises clients on aviation regulatory aspects of aircraft/equipment transactions, mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions involving the purchase and sale of aviation companies, and assets, as well as aircraft management, charter, and fractional ownership agreements.
These clients include not only aviation companies but also large corporations, banks, private equity, and other investors. David has also advised clients involved in the aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) business for both large commercial and private corporate aircraft. He also has advised clients on regulatory and other legal issues relating to commercial uses of unmanned aircraft (drones).
David has been recognized as a nationwide leader in Transportation: Aviation/Regulatory in each annual edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2007-2019). He was selected as a leader in aviation law in the 2012-2018 editions of The International Who’s Who of Aviation Lawyers.
He also was nominated for inclusion in Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers, 6th edition and 9th edition, in addition to being the recipient of the 2015 Air Law Institute Inspiration Award: Law. The Legal 500 United States named David a “Leading Lawyer” for Transport: Aviation and Air Travel for 2017-2018.
David was editor-in-chief of The Air & Space Lawyer, the quarterly publication of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Air & Space Law from 2011 to 2019. He is the author of numerous articles on legal issues affecting the aviation industry.
As a co-editor, he has published two treatises on U.S. and European aviation law: Aviation Regulation in the United States (ABA Book Publishing, 2014) and the Cologne Compendium on Air Law in Europe (Kluwer, 2013). He authored a chapter on Compliance with U.S. Aviation and Safety Regulations in the book “Inside the Minds: Complying with Transportation Regulations” (Thomson Reuters Westlaw, Aspatore Books, 2014).
He is a contributor to Forbes.com, writing about legal, regulatory, and policy issues affecting aviation. David is a regular speaker at legal and industry conferences on a wide range of aviation law topics.
- Catholic University of America, J.D., summa cum laude, 1996
- University College Dublin, M.B.S., 1988
- Trinity College Dublin, B.A., 1985
BAR ADMISSIONS : District of Columbia
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