ACI-NA Weekly Legal Briefing

ACI-NA’s Weekly Legal Briefing

Volume 2011, Issue 22

Week of August  1– 5, 2011

Legal Affairs Committee Members:

The following matters are highlighted for your review and information.

Litigation Update:

Massport is Released from the 9/11 Lawsuit

As you are aware, ACI-NA filed an amicus brief supporting the Massachusetts Port Authority (“Massport”) in seeking dismissal from a 9/11 wrongful death lawsuit brought against the airport authority, United Airlines and the Huntleigh security firm, which provided security screening services at Boston Logan Airport at the time of the attacks.   Last Wednesday, during a hearing held in New York, Judge Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York, granted Massport’s motion to be dismissed from the lawsuit. 

David Mackey, Interim Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of the Massachusetts Port Authority, expressed his appreciation to ACI-NA for its participation in the proceeding.  Scott Lewis, Managing Partner of ACI-NA associate law firm, Anderson & Kreiger, oversaw the filing of the amicus brief on ACI-NA’s behalf. Several members of the Legal Affairs Steering Group reviewed the filing prior to its submission.  David stated that the ACI-NA brief had a persuasive impact on the Judge in terms of highlighting the importance of correctly imposing liability for airport security violations on those who were actually responsible for providing security at the airport at the time of the events.  Massport’s trial counsel referenced the ACI-NA amicus brief at page 95 of the hearing transcript.  The Judge recognized further at page 112 of the hearing transcript, that the airlines, and/or their delegated security companies, were primarily responsible for the screening of passengers and property at the time of the 9/11 incidents, NOT the airports!  Judge Hellerstein strongly criticized plaintiff’s counsel in the case for presenting arguments to the contrary.  If you are interested in reading the portion of the transcript that contains this discussion, see pages 99-111.

Legislative and Regulatory Developments:

ACI-NA Applauds President Obama and Congress for reversing the FAA Shutdown

ACI-NA’s President issued the following letter and video message today applauding the government’s reversal of the FAA shutdown.

August 5, 2011

 

Dear ACI-NA Member:

By now, most if not all of you have heard the good news – President Obama will today sign the legislation allowing 4,000 FAA employees and more than 70,000 construction workers to return to their jobs.

The past two weeks have been tough, but the collective voice of the industry through calls and email to their legislators and the media ensured that our message was heard. On behalf of myself and the entire ACI-NA staff, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for answering the call to action and making a difference. (click here for the three minute video)

 

Sincerely,

Greg Principato

President

Airports Council International-North America

 

FAA:  The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) findings on the noise compatibility

program submitted by San Diego Regional Airport Authority under the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 47501 et seq. (formerly the Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act, hereinafter referred to as ‘‘the Act’’) and 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 150 (hereinafter referred to as ‘‘Part 150’’) were published in the August 2, 2011 issue of the Federal Register.

On November 10, 2009, the FAA determined that the noise exposure maps submitted by San Diego Regional Airport Authority under Part 150 were in compliance with applicable requirements. On June 30, 2011, the FAA approved the San Diego International Airport noise compatibility program. Fourteen (14) of the nineteen (19) total number of recommendations of the program were approved. No program elements relating to new or revised flight procedures for noise abatement were proposed by the airport operator.

DATES: Effective Date: The effective date of the FAA’s approval of the Noise Compatibility Program for San Diego International Airport is June 30, 2011.

Upcoming Meetings and Events of Interest

  • The ABA Air & Space Law Forum’s 2011 Annual Conference will be held in Montreal on September 22 and 23 at the Marriott Chateau Champlain

Airport Lawyers will find a number of sessions and speakers of interest, notably:

James Cherry, President & CEO, Aéroports de Montréal

will be the keynote speaker on Friday morning, September 23

and a special General Counsels’ Panel that will explore the full range of issues that aviation general counsel, representing a diverse group of entities, are expected to handle, including:

• Litigation management

• Governance issues (public and private sector)

• Discovery requests

• Management oversight of government investigations

• Legal implications of government regulations and policies

Panelists will also discuss their greatest challenges, major accomplishments and key issues facing each organization's legal department.

 

MODERATOR:  Monica R. Hargrove

General Counsel, Airports Council International-North America

 

SPEAKERS:

Scott Casey, Vice President, Legal & Public Affairs, UPS

Gary Doernhoefer, General Counsel, Legal Services Department, International Air Transport Association

Francine Kerner, Chief Counsel, US Transportation Security Administration

David Mackey, Interim CEO & Chief Legal Counsel, Massachusetts Port Authority

David Shapiro, Chief Legal Officer, Vice President & General Counsel, Air Canada

 

  • Matters of Potential Interest

The Legal Steering Group met on Friday, July 29, 2011and discussed a number of important issues, as well as established the agenda

of the Fall Legal Conference.  Please check ACI-NA’s website, www.aci-na.orgon Tuesday of next week for the posted preliminary agenda.  If you have any litigation issues for inclusion during the Litigation Update Session or any transactions of note for inclusion during the Transactions Update Session in October, please send them to me or to the Chairman of the Steering Group, Timothy Karaskiewicz at timothy.karaskiewicz@milwcnty.com

 

James Briggs, Jr., Vice President-Legal Affairs at Airports Council International-

North America, and member of the Editorial Board of the Federal Lawyer, has published an article in the July 2011 issue of The Federal Lawyer entitled “Improving Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities in the National Air Transportation System,” which is available at: http://fedbar.org/Publications/The-Federal-Lawyer/Columns/At-Sidebar-Improving-Accessibility-for-Individuals-with-Disabilities-in-the-National-Air-Transporta.aspx?FT=.pdf

 

 

If you have information of interest to share, please forward it to me by COB on Thursday of each week.  Send it to:  mhargrove@aci-na.org

Have a greatl weekend!

Monica

Monica R. Hargrove
General Counsel

Direct: (202) 861-8088                                                                                                              
E-mail: mhargrove@aci-na.org