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“Aviation is awesome, and I’m fortunate to have been part of it for decades. I believe in providing responsive, client-centered service focused on practical results, and pride myself on breaking down complex problems into solvable tasks, backed by a life-long commitment to the industry, its issues, and its people.”

Paul Alp’s practice lies at the intersection of aviation regulatory, legal, and technical issues, where clients require practical advice from a lawyer steeped in the business, operational, and regulatory environment, and who has close ties to regulators and industry leaders.

For more than two decades, Paul has represented and advised airlines, manufacturers, repair stations, on-demand operators, technology companies, insurers, commercial space companies, corporate flight departments, and uncrewed aircraft companies on international and domestic aviation and aerospace issues. He provides a full range of advice on compliance, operations, safety, risk management, licensing, certification, airworthiness, security, crisis preparation, and emergency response.

Paul focuses a substantial portion of his practice on investigations, enforcement actions, and advising on airworthiness. He works closely with technical experts to analyze nonconformances and develop corrective actions. He also has extensive experience supporting the certification and operational approval of innovative aircraft and aviation systems such as drones (UAS), urban air mobility, and advanced air mobility systems. Paul regularly advises on cutting-edge regulatory, operational, and commercial issues for emerging-technology companies under U.S. and European regulatory frameworks. He also advises on the licensing of commercial space launch systems and performs safety and compliance reviews for a variety of aviation companies. 

Paul has extensive experience in aviation safety and accident investigations. Other areas of focus include aviation-related transactions, due diligence, and contracts. Paul also has multi-faceted experience handling litigation and commercial arbitrations for aviation companies. He routinely advises on complex issues of international scope, including with respect to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and compliance with requirements of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and other civil aviation authorities.

Industry leaders rely on Paul for comprehensive advice on strategy, compliance, safety, and risk management. Paul works with clients to identify, analyze, and mitigate risk, overcome certification challenges, and represent clients before domestic and international regulators.

Paul has defended enforcement actions and represented clients in numerous matters involving the FAA, EASA, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Justice (DOJ), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and other agencies. He has also represented aviation clients in international arbitrations involving contract disputes and defended injury and wrongful death lawsuits arising from air accidents, including serving as national coordinating counsel for a major aviation insurer.

As senior counsel at The Boeing Company, Paul supported regulatory compliance and safety, and advised on all aspects of product certification and compliance. He worked closely with the engineering, quality, and safety organizations; defended investigations and enforcement actions; and interacted regularly with the FAA and other government agencies. He served as legal focal for the Boeing Commercial Airplanes safety management system and provided strategic advice on risk management in product certification.

With an insider’s perspective and operational, technical, and practical experience, Paul offers clients a unique and invaluable skill set.  He holds a commercial pilot certificate and has worked as a flight instructor. He also holds an LL.M. with a specialization in Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, which dovetails with his DC-based regulatory practice.  In law school, he served as the Notes and Projects Editor of the George Washington Law Review.

Paul is the Adams and Reese Aviation and Aerospace Team Co-Leader and resident in the firm’s DC office. He is currently serving as an appointee to the Airman Certification Standards Working Group of the FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, and on the Advisory Committee to the ABA’s Forum on Air & Space Law, where he also chairs the Manufacturing, Maintenance, and Technology Committee. He frequently speaks and writes on issues of interest to the industry and provides training seminars to clients on a variety of compliance topics.

Paul is a co-author of the Adams and Reese Aviation and Aerospace Liftoff Blog.


  • American University, LL.M, Law & Government, 2013
  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1995, High honors, Order of the Coif
  • University of Virginia, B.S., 1991

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Indiana

Court Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Maryland

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • Federal Aviation Administration Rulemaking Advisory Committee - Airman Certification Standards Working Group
  • American Bar Association
    • Chair, Manufacturing, Maintenance, and Technology Committee of the Forum on Air & Space Law
    • Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (Aviation and Space Law Committee former vice chair)
    • Section of International Law (Aerospace and Defense Committee)
  • Aviation Lawyers Association
  • National Business Aviation Association
  • Aero Club of Washington
  • International Aviation Club
  • Flight Safety Foundation
  • Lawyer Pilots Bar Association
  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
  • "A Piece of the MOSAIC: Simplified Flight Controls for Light Sport Aircraft and Beyond," Adams and Reese Liftoff Blog, February 2024
  • "Workplace Safety on the Airport Ramp: FAA or OSHA Jurisdiction?" Adams and Reese Liftoff Blog, February 2024
  • "Organization Delegation Authorization: An Overview," co-author with Paul Alp, Adams and Reese Liftoff Blog, February 2024
  • “TSA Cybersecurity Roadmap 2018 to Establish Priorities for Aviation Cybersecurity,” January 2019
  • “Aviation Cybersecurity: Threats and Responses,” The Air & Space Lawyer, Vol. 31, No. 4, Winter 2018
  • “Federal Preemption After Sikkelee,” Paper for the International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association, May 2017
  • “You've Been Served! Practical Considerations When Responding to a Subpoena,” Aviation Business Journal, Q2 2008
  • “The Limits of Morton: The Resistible Force of Regulatory Estoppel Meets The Immovable Object of New York's Insurance Statute,” Mealey's Litigation Report: Insurance, co-author, May 2005
  • “Recent Developments in Unmanned Aircraft International Law,” The International Lawyer, ABA Section of International Law, contributor, Winter 2015
  • “Limitations On Liability As To Space Tourists,” Newsletter of the Aviation & Space Law Committee, American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Summer 2011
  • “On The Radar: Noteworthy Regulatory Developments,” Aviation & Space Law Committee, American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section Newsletter, Summer 2010
  • “Helicopter EMS: Safety Issues and Regulatory Outlook,” Newsletter of the Aviation & Space Law Committee, American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Winter 2009
  • “Joint-and-Several Allocation and Policy Provisions Governing the Stacking of Limits,” Insurance Coverage Law Bulletin, 7 No. 5, co-author, June 2008
  • “It's Not Just a Technicality,” Legal Times, 31, No. 9, co-author, March 2008
  • “Out of Thin Air: A Causation 'Requirement' In Aircraft Liability Policy Exclusions?” Mealey's Emerging Insurance Disputes, 13, No. 2, January 2008
  • “How New Jersey Courts Handle Common Discovery Disputes Between Policyholders and Insurers,” The Insurance Coverage Law Bulletin, 4, No. 12, January 2006
  • “The End of Eljer v. Liberty Mutual,” Journal of Insurance Coverage, 5 No. 2, co-author, Spring 2002
  • “International Pilot Training Improvement Initiatives,” presentation to the International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association, November 2019
  • “A Walk Through the Passenger Experience and the Impact of New and Emerging Technologies,” presentation to the ABA Forum on Air & Space Law, February 2019
  • “Aviation Cybersecurity,” presentation to the ABA Forum on Air & Space Law, September 2018
  • ABA Space Law Symposium, June 2018
  • “Aviation Cybersecurity: Current Issues and Perspectives, presentation to the ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section,” Aviation & Space Law Committee, October 2017
  • “Aviation Accident Investigation and Litigation,” presentation to the International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association, April 2017
  • “Corporate Aircraft Sharing for Dummies: A Practical Overview,” presentation to the National Business Aviation Association, November 2015
  • “Training in Aviation Regulations Applicable to Manufacturers and Repair Stations,” Major Parts Manufacturer Seminar, November 2013
  • “Aftermath of Flight 3407: Future Flight Duty, Rest & Other Regulations,” National Business Aviation Association, October 2012
  • Annual Meeting of the ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Aviation & Space Law Committee, moderator, October 2011
  • “Training in Aviation Regulatory, Technical, and Insurance Issues,” Major Aviation Insurer Seminar, November 2009