Practice/Industry Group Overview
Navigating complex aviation regulation, construction, tax and financing issues can be nearly as complicated as navigating the airways. GrayRobinson established its aviation practice to provide much-needed legal counsel to Florida's burgeoning aviation industry.
GrayRobinson's attorneys have worked with the Federal Aviation Authority and local aviation authorities on a variety of matters, including ports of entry status and establishing new international flights. We have assisted clients in interpreting FAA regulations and obtaining building height variances and "no hazard" determinations, including negotiating flight approach procedures with the FAA and modifying county and municipal codes to clear zones for buildings along flight paths. We have extensive experience negotiating construction contracts for airport improvements (including a $2 billion expansion project).
GrayRobinson's attorneys have represented clients in an array of other aviation matters, including domestic aircraft transactions and complex leveraged-lease transactions for fixed-base operators handling hangars, fuel, supplies, towing, maintenance services and aircraft storage. Fixed-base operators regularly call upon GrayRobinson's team of aviation attorneys for counsel on contract negotiations and disputes with airport authorities and owners. When the State of Florida was looking to purchase its new $5 million Cessna, the state of Florida turned to the lawyers of GrayRobinson. We also have represented a wide range of buyers and sellers of aircraft, aircraft manufacturers, pilots, aircraft leasing companies, airlines in fleet acquisition, and lenders in conventional secured financial transactions.
The aviation practice is led by Guy Haggard (Orlando), an instrument-rated private pilot experienced in purchase and sale transactions ranging from Cessna 150s to Gulfstream Vs. Guy is currently Chairman of the West Orange Airport Authority. Other members of GrayRobinson's aviation practice area include Donald Nohrr (Melbourne) and Fred Leonhardt (Orlando), both of whom have worked with the Melbourne Airport Authority. Don served on the Board of the Authority from 1986 to 1991 and was Chairman from 1991 to 2002, when he became the Authority's attorney. Fred has handled state and federal government relations work for the authority, including work with the FAA. Frank Fleischer (Tampa) has represented the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority (Tampa International Airport) in all bond financing matters since 1978. Steven Zelkowitz (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale) has extensive experience in negotiating airport and air approach zoning, as well as negotiating contracts for airline terminal expansions.