The Adams and Reese Aviation and Aerospace Team focuses a significant portion of its practice on airworthiness, product manufacturing, repair, certification, and product risk management. Our team has extensive experience helping manufacturers, repair stations, and aircraft operators navigate complex product compliance issues, and routinely advises on matters involving certification and conformity, risk management, and warranty, as well as liability and commercial issues arising from nonconformances.
Our clients benefit from our lawyers’ in-depth understanding of the interconnected regulatory, legal, commercial, technical, and operational issues that drive the industry. We help clients obtain and maintain certifications related to aerospace products and respond to noncompliances and defects when they arise. Our practice is international in scope, and we routinely advise on issues arising under FAA, ICAO, EASA, and other authorities, as well as bilateral airworthiness agreements and technical implementation procedures.
Our advice encompasses all aspects of product design, production, and certification, including:
- Applications for type certification and supplemental type certification;
- International validation activities;
- Certification plans, issue papers, methods of compliance, and equivalent levels of safety;
- Counterfeit or unapproved parts;
- Development and dissemination of Instructions for Continued Airworthiness;
- Repair station certification;
- Production approvals and Quality Management Systems;
- Supplier management and flow down of quality standards;
- Airworthiness and quality requirements in commercial agreements for parts; and
- Cutting-edge issues for UAS, eVTOL, and simplified flight control aircraft.
Product Risk Management and Response Actions
When a problem arises with an aircraft product, companies often face a mix of regulatory, liability, insurance, and commercial issues. Our lawyers have substantial experience advising on all of these areas, which helps clients pursue coordinated response actions. When product difficulties or quality escapes take place, we develop a response strategy, communications with customers and regulators, and product replacement programs, as well as support the promulgation of service bulletins, airworthiness directives, and instructions for continued airworthiness.
We effectively communicate with personnel at all levels of our clients’ organizations, working collaboratively to find practical business solutions to their problems. In connection with product difficulties, we:
- Perform risk assessments;
- Conduct confidential internal investigations;
- Advise about mitigation, response activities, crisis management, and communications;
- Support development of service bulletins and airworthiness directives;
- Advise on voluntary disclosures, notice programs, recalls, and product replacements; and
- Assist with identifying and addressing risks before they ripen into problems.
Going beyond traditional legal counseling, we routinely advise on technical, operational, and business matters such as process improvements, the development of corrective actions, and corporate risk management and restructuring.
We have lawyers who are knowledgeable about the technical and operational aspects of a wide variety of aircraft products, as well as certification regulations, manufacturing quality standards, production systems, and industry best practices. As a result, we provide a value-added service that combines focused experience with a holistic view of each certificate holder’s relationship with regulators and the industry.
We also offer training tailored to the needs of companies seeking to remain current or get ahead of developments on a wide variety of topics.
- Advised manufacturer on type certification and international validation of new model aircraft.
- Represented manufacturer in connection with regulatory, safety, certification and exposure issues arising from product defect; led investigation, advised on testing and product replacement; worked with FAA and EASA to develop airworthiness directives and corrective actions; successfully resolved related commercial disputes with customers.
- Conducted compliance review of major commercial operator and developed comprehensive improvements to quality, maintenance, operations, and procurement systems.
- Advised engine manufacturer on product certification, process improvements, and the development and dissemination of instructions for continued airworthiness.
- Represented manufacturer of full motion flight simulators in connection with deviations from certification standards; led internal investigation and facilitated disclosures to civil aviation authorities of all major jurisdictions, resolving matter without any enforcement action taken against the client.
- Conducted internal investigation of the maintenance practices of an international airline and developed corrective actions to address systemic issues.
- Supported supplemental type certification activities for major modifications of airliners.