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As we begin the new year, the aviation industry is closely following certain Department of Transportation (DOT) Notices of Proposed Rulemakings (NPRM) published in 2022. These proposed rulemakings relate to consumer protections, including ancillary fees and airline ticket refunds.
Continue Reading Department of Transportation (DOT) consumer protections – rules to watch

Originally published by Aerospace Testing International in ‘Showcase 2024 ‘

The Advanced Air Mobility sector is poised for sustainable growth and offers a plethora of opportunities to aerospace professionals who are considering including in their portfolios eVTOL aircraft and associated elements.

According to a study published by analysts this year, the Global AAM market is

Aviation infrastructure opportunities are rising due to Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) market growth. In September 2023, the FAA conditionally approved the first US public-use vertiport. Dubai’s leaders endorsed a vertiport design in February, aiming for a city-wide vertiport network by 2026. Yet, AAM infrastructure lags behind aircraft manufacturing due to development constraints, offering room for growth.
Continue Reading Aviation infrastructure for new technologies

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Recent news headlines relating to air travel have demonstrated the aviation industry’s refocus on passenger experience and consumer protection issues.  Airlines are working hard to address scenarios that may affect the passenger experience during air travel today, including remediating weather delays and personnel-related issues. The Biden Administration has made consumer protections in the aviation industry

In the past week, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate separately proposed legislation to reauthorize and fund the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). While there are similarities and overlapping provisions in the two bills, there are many differences. For example, while the House’s version provides great funding and revitalization of the general aviation community, the Senate’s version does not. By way of further example, the Senate’s version provides sweeping provisions for what it calls “consumer protections” which would drastically alter a commercial airline’s financial obligations in the event of a delayed flight and requires hotlines for the general public. The House version takes a softer stance on such issues.    

The business, commercial, and general aviation communities should take note of our key takeaways from the two competing bills and monitor the developments in Congress over the summer as we approach the September 30 expiration deadline of Congress’ FAA authorization. Below we focus on certain highlights from the two pieces of legislation, including part 121 air carriers, advanced air mobility, general aviation, and consumer protections.Continue Reading U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate propose bills to reauthorize the FAA

Today, some commentators have even argued that autonomous flight is likely to become a reality much earlier than autonomous driving. However, a distinct issue is the extent to which artificial intelligence (AI) may be used in autonomous flight.
Continue Reading Legal challenges in autonomous flight: Things to consider before investing in an aircraft that flies itself

The European Union, through its aviation safety authority (EASA) has taken steps to address the future VTOL traffic management challenge with the development of an unmanned traffic management system, called the “U-Space.”
Continue Reading EASA’s U-Space: The future of air traffic management for drones and VTOL

Julia has recently joined our Transportation team here at Reed Smith, having previously been an attorney and policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Transportation and developing strategy and policy with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (‘US Regulator’) – including in relation to emerging transportation and advanced air mobility (‘AAM’).

The regulatory framework being built to facilitate AAM around the world can seem intimidating, and is changing with a speed and agility that those working in more established modes of transport may not expect. Julia shares some helpful thoughts on this, and we will be sharing more detailed insights soon – so watch this space!Continue Reading We have questions: Julia Norsetter, Policy and Analysis Lead at Reed Smith