Last week, the BLT reported that the Air Transport Association the trade organization for the U.S. airlines industry was turning to Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr for a planned lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation. The ATA has since made good on its promise to sue. It filed a petition for review of a Federal Aviation Administration order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Monday. Wilmer partners Randolph Moss and Bruce Rabinovitz, senior counsel Neil King, and counsel Brian Boynton are representing the ATA. All the lawyers are based in Wilmer’s Washington office.
This isn’t the first time the ATA has relied on top talent at Wilmer. D.C. partner Seth Waxman successfully represented the association in its appeal of New York State’s passenger bill of rights earlier this year.
The ATA is now suing the FAA over its decision to auction off arrival and departure time-slots at Newark Liberty International Airport, which sits just outside of New York. The plan was announced last week. According to a statement from the Department of Transportation, airlines will be asked to bid on a five-year lease to operate a roundtrip flight to and from Newark during prime time-slots. The auction is scheduled for Sept. 3. Commercial airlines have historically leased and traded such slots as their own property, and the ATA’s petition states that “Slots are not FAA property and cannot be auctioned by FAA ... its commencement of a slot auction process should be held unlawful and set aside. ” Read the full text of the ATA’s petition here.