What We Do
The Aviation Litigation Division (AGC-300) is the legal enforcement office of the FAA, providing legal services related to the Agency’s aviation regulatory compliance and legal enforcement programs. It also advises on matters related to litigation and provides legal services on all litigation matters not handled by another practice area. The divisions’ enforcement and litigation functions are described in more detail below.
The Division has independent affirmative authority to take certificate actions, civil penalty actions, and issue other orders to FAA-issued certificate holders and other regulated entities for noncompliance with aviation laws and regulations. Specifically, Division attorneys litigate certificate actions before the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and civil penalty actions before the Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Hearings. In this role, attorneys handle, from initiation to conclusion, cases involving a wide variety of statutory and regulatory violations, including illegal drone operations, unruly passengers, certificate holder falsification, improper aircraft maintenance, medical disqualification, illegal aircraft charters, and more.
Division attorneys also assist the Department of Justice in civil enforcement cases before Federal courts. The Division handles appellate litigation, including administrative appeals and, under a delegation of authority from the Department of Justice, certain enforcement cases on review before the U.S. Courts of Appeal. Division attorneys also advise on enforcement matters and initiatives, work with FAA offices to develop and review compliance and enforcement policies and procedures, and coordinate with other Federal and State agencies regarding matters concerning aviation safety.
In addition to the litigation responsibilities described above, the Division handles tort claims and represents the Agency in aircraft accident investigations and litigation involving designees. Designees are entities authorized to conduct examinations, perform tests, and issue approvals and certificates on behalf of the FAA. The Division provides legal services in response to requests under 49 CFR part 9 for employee testimony and agency records in federal and state court proceedings. In these litigation matters, the Aviation Litigation Division either represents the Agency directly or supports the Department of Justice in cases before the Federal courts.
Last updated: Thursday, May 11, 2023