Our Practice 

With more than 60 years of serving aviation-industry clients, Snell & Wilmer’s aircraft law practice consists of knowledgeable attorneys who are experienced in the legal issues facing aircraft owners and operators, air carriers, flight schools and fixed base operators and other aviation-related service providers. Providing a full range of legal services, our practice in this highly specialized area involves addressing critical issues related to acquisition, ownership and operation of aircraft, tax planning and ownership structure, fixed base operators, maintenance and repair organizations and other aircraft service providers, FAA and DOT regulations, aircraft and component product liability and accidents, and other aviation transactional and litigation matters. Our attorneys provide practical, "hands-on" advice and counsel, utilizing a solutions-oriented approach that has helped us build long-term relationships with our clients in the aviation industry.

Our attorneys have experience in federal, state, and local legal issues applicable to aircraft operations and transactions. Our services for our aviation-industry clients include:

Transactional Matters

  • Aircraft purchase agreement, co-ownership agreement, leasing, time sharing, and other aircraft transactional contract negotiation, implementation, and administration
  • Structuring corporate aircraft ownership programs
  • Air carrier contract drafting and negotiation
  • Aircraft finance contracts
  • Vendor agreements
  • Aviation labor and employment contracts

Tax Planning and Advice

  • Structuring tax-advantaged aircraft acquisition and operating structures
  • Sales and use tax exemption preparation

Product Liability and Litigation

  • Aircraft and aircraft component litigation
  • Aircraft accident claims
  • Flight crew and mechanic labor claims and resolution

Regulatory and Compliance

  • Federal Aviation Administration regulatory compliance
  • Department of Transportation regulatory compliance

Clients We Serve

Our attorneys represent a wide range of local, national, and multinational aviation clients, including small and large corporations with in-house flight departments, airlines, fixed base operators, air carriers, aircraft maintenance and repair operators, flight schools and individual aircraft owners operating one or multiple aircraft. 

Why Clients Select Us

Involved and Invested: Our attorneys have been personally involved in a variety of aviation industry organizations, including the National Business Aviation Association. Participation in these organizations has helped us stay on top of the ever-changing legal landscape in the aviation industry, and our firm supports these types of activities at no cost to our clients. In addition, several of our aviation attorneys hold FAA pilot licenses and have diverse operating experience including charter operations and military aviation.

Dynamic, Comprehensive Approach: With more than 450 attorneys in 16 locations throughout the western United States and in Mexico, we have the depth and breadth of experience necessary to offer our aviation clients a broad range of services that are sensitive to the complex and often subtle differences in state laws. Our aircraft law attorneys regularly call on the diverse talents and experience of their colleagues to handle complex matters regarding business and finance, real estate, construction, environmental, government relations, and federal and state tax issues.

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