DOT Moves Forward with Controversial Airline Passenger Protection Rules—Brings First Enforcement Case
Corporate Counsel’s 25th Annual General Counsel Conference
Kenneth P. Quinn
Mr. Quinn is a partner and co-leader of the law firm's top-ranked aviation practice. He has served on the Governing Committee and as General Counsel and Secretary of the Flight Safety Foundation since 2004. In 2011, he was elected Vice Chair of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Task Force on Safety Information Protection. He has served on the Governing Committee of the ABA Forum on Air & Space Law since 1994, including as Chair in 1996-98, and as Editor-in-Chief of its legal journal, The Air & Space Lawyer, from 1997-2010. Mr. Quinn was Chief Counsel of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration from 1991-93, and served as counselor to the Secretary of Transportation from 1989-91. He was a Senior Advisor to the Office of the President-elect in 1988.
Mr. Quinn was named a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 2006, and has served as counsel on the Board of its D.C. Chapter since 2008. He has served on the Board of the International Aviation Law Institute of DePaul University since 2005, and as an Editor of the Annals of Air and Space Law of McGill University since 2006. He has served on the Board of the International Aviation Club since 2008 and recently was elected Secretary.
He acts as regulatory, enforcement, antitrust, commercial, criminal, and litigation counsel to several domestic and international airlines, aerospace companies, airports, lenders/lessors, private equity/hedge funds, online travel agents, and other aviation companies. His recent efforts include the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and US Contract Tower Association (USCTA) in litigation against the FAA in the Ninth Circuit over its decision to close 149 contract towers. He is representing Japanese battery manufacturer GS Yuasa relating to FAA, NTSB, and JTSB investigations, and other matters arising out of the Boeing 787 grounding. He is representing an Australian company regarding the potential privatization of Midway airport, after successfully representing Aerostar, the winning bidder and a 50-50 partnership of Highstar Capital and ASUR, a Mexican airport holding company, in the public-private partnership to manage Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He is also representing the Aviation Working Group, a large coalition of aerospace companies, lenders, lessors, and law firms, regarding non-citizen trust issues.
He represents a Japanese aircraft seat manufacturer in FAA, EASA, and JCAB airworthiness and compliance issues. He currently represents a private equity fund in a potential airline acquisition, and a large airline in a financing matter.
He is representing several aircraft and rotorcraft manufacturers in DOT, FAA, and EASA matters. He has represented the city of Chicago in airport matters for over 15 years, and represented the city in litigation against FEMA in the Northern District of Illinois.
He is representing several of the largest real estate developers in the U.S. regarding airspace hazard issues. He represents a large number of Fortune 100 companies on aircraft charter and fractional ownership issues. He regularly counsels airlines, governments, and investors on foreign ownership issues, having managed these issues in government and by serving as lead counsel on the seminal Virgin America case, including oral argument in successfully defending the case on appeal before the D.C. Circuit.
Mr. Quinn has been particularly active in broadband wireless interference issues with the GPS signal, and criminal investigations and prosecutions of aviation accidents around the globe. He is a preferred provider of legal services for one of the world’s largest leasing companies. He has represented multiple clients in FAA and NTSB investigations and criminal prosecutions after airline crashes, including as lead counsel in the successful defense of SabreTech in the criminal investigations and prosecutions following the ValuJet 592 crash. He represented a coalition of the largest aviation security companies following 9/11.
He has served as a party-appointed mediator, and as Chief Judge of an AAA/ICDR arbitral panel in aviation disputes, as well as an expert in an aviation law legal malpractice case.
Mr. Quinn recently completed two terms as Chair of the Parish Pastoral Council at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C. (2010 and 2011). He formerly served as Chair of its Stewardship and Development Committee, and now serves on its Faith Formation Committee. He is Fourth Degree, Knight of Columbus, and a Patron of the Vatican Art Museum. He is married with five children, and resides in McLean, Virginia.
- Chambers USA, Aviation Regulatory—National (2006-2013)
- Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) (2010-2014)
- Who's Who Legal, Aviation: Regulatory—DC (2009-2013)
- Best of the Best USA, Aviation, Euromoney/Legal Media Group (2009, 2011-2013)
- Guide to the World's Leading Aviation Lawyers, Euromoney/Legal Media Group (2007-2013)
- Irish Legal 100 (2010-2012)
- Value Add Award Deal of the Year, Windfarm Project Financing, Infrastructure Journal
Member, ABA Section of Antitrust Law; ABA Forum on Air & Space Law; ABA Torts Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation and Space Law Committee; and ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice
Member, Wings Club, International Aviation Club, AeroClub of Washington, John Carroll Society, The Federalist Society, Army Navy Country Club
DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Illinois Supreme Court, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 7th Circuit, 9th Circuit
Moderator/Panelist, “Public-Private Partnerships in Aviation,” ABA Forum on Air & Space Law Annual Meeting, Sept. 27-28, 2013, New York, NY
Speaker, “Regulatory responses: Security and consumer protection regulations. Do they serve the public well? Overview, challenges and improvements,” McGill/ICAO Conference on Facilitating Air Transport: Passengers, Cargo, Technology and Profitability September 21-22, 2013, Montreal, Canada
Speaker, “The importance of regulating safety data protection policies,” Fourth Pan American Aviation Safety Summit presented by the ICAO Regional Aviation Safety Group - Pan America (RASG-PA) in partnership with the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) June 25-26, 2013, San Jose, Costa Rica
Speaker, “Crisis Management/Disaster Preparedness,” 25th Annual General Counsel Conference, Corporate Counsel, June 5-6, 2013, New York, NY
Panelist, “Non-Citizen Trusts Update: Why They are Important; The Various Areas NCTs Impact,” 20th Annual Aircraft Transactions Forum, March 4-5, 2013, Scottsdale, AZ.
Moderator, “Better Safe Than Sorry: The Case for Robust Safety Information Protection Rules,” IATA Legal Symposium, February 17-19, 2013, Berlin, Germany.
Speaker, “Safety Information Protection in ICAO, Legislatures, and the Courtroom,” 65th Annual International Air Safety Seminar, Flight Safety Foundation, Oct. 23-25, 2012, Santiago, Chile.
Moderator, “Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme: Conflict or Compromise?,” Royal Aeronautical Society, International Aviation Club, June 20, 2012, Washington DC.
Speaker, “The Revamping of Airline Passenger Protection Rules,” State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, June 14-15, 2012, Houston, TX.
Speaker, “The Current and Future Regulatory Environment of the Air Transport Industry,” 2012. Sabre Airline Solutions Executive Advisory Board Meeting, April 24-27, 2012, Washington, DC.
Panelist, “Recent Developments in Aviation Liability and Insurance,” McGill University Institute on Air & Space Law Annual Conference on Aviation Liability & Insurance, April 19-21, 2012, London, England.
Panelist, “Just Culture,” Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand Annual Conference, April 1-3, 2012, Queenstown, New Zealand.
Panelist, “Non-Citizen Trusts: FAA & Private Sector Approaches,” 19th Annual Aircraft Transactions Forum, Feb. 27-28, 2012, Scottsdale, AZ.
Moderator, “Airline Passenger Protection: A Bumpy Ride Ahead?,” Webinar co-sponsored by the ABA Forum on Air & Space Law, International Aviation Club, and Pillsbury, Nov. 30, 2011, Washington, DC.
Moderator, “Global Competition Law,” ABA Forum on Air & Space Law Annual Meeting, Sept. 22-23, 2011, Montreal, Canada.
Introductory Remarks, “Protecting Aviation Safety Information,” Annual Conference on International Aviation Liability & Insurance, McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law, May 6-7, 2011, Montreal, Canada.
Panelist, “The Challenges of the Judicial Investigation in Aviation Accidents,” ICAO-COPAC, International Safety Seminar, March 24-25, 2011, Madrid, Spain.
Instructor, “Aviation Law: The Concorde Accident,” 2011 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Aviation Seminar, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX.
Moderator, "Safety Protocols: Can We Ever Build a New Airplane?” Annual Update Conference, ABA Forum on Air & Space Law, February 23, 2011, Washington, DC.
Interviewer, “Conversations with Aviation Leaders: John Byerly, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Transportation Affairs,” DePaul International Aviation Law Institute, October 8, 2010, Chicago, IL.
Moderator, "The Cost Crisis: How Will the Airline Industry Recover?" Third International Civil Aviation/McGill University Institute of Air & Space Law, Pre-Assembly Conference, Sept. 26-27, 2010. Montreal, Canada.
Panelist, “Airline Consolidation,” 10th Beaumont International Aviation Conference, June 23-24, 2010. London, England.
Panelist, “Specific Jurisdiction: The Issues Surrounding Choice of Law in Foreign Crashes/Incidents,” American Conference Institute’s 2nd Annual Forum on Defending and Managing Aviation Litigation, June 22-23, 2010. Boston, MA.
Moderator, “Airlines Financial Health and Trends in Liberalization, Foreign Ownership, Alliances, and Antitrust,” 30th Annual New York Airfinance Conference, April 26-27, 2010. New York, NY.
Speaker, "Protecting the Integrity of Accident Investigations," 22nd Annual European Aviation Safety Seminar, March 15-17, 2010, Lisbon, Portugal.
Moderator, "Open Skies-Alliances and Competition," ABA Forum on Air & Space Law Annual Meeting, Sept. 24-25, 2009. Chicago, IL.
Moderator, "A Moot Court Argument on Wallace v. Korean Air," Aviation Liability & Insurance, McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law, Oct. 29-31, 2009. Montreal, Canada.
Speaker, “Criminalization of Aviation Accidents,” National Air Transportation Association 2009 Air Charter Summit, June 9, 2009. Chantilly, VA.
Panelist, “The Criminalization of Aviation Accidents,” Flight Safety Foundation’s 54th Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar, April 21-23, 2009. Orlando, FL.
Moderator, “Moving on from Open Skies—Consolidation and the New Shape of Airlines,” 29th Annual New York Airfinance Conference, April 20-21, 2009. New York, NY.
Moderator, “Mergers and Alliances in the Airline Industry,” ABA Section of Antitrust Law Mergers Committee/Transportation Industry Committee, February 18, 2009. Washington, DC.
Panelist, “The Criminalization of Civil Aviation: A Global Perspective, “ Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s 20th Anniversary Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium, January 7-9, 2009. Orlando, FL.
Moderator, “Safety, CEOs and the Law – Problem or Partnership?” Eurocontrol’s Safety Culture Conference, December 17-18, 2008. Rome, Italy.
Panelist, “The Challenge of Criminalization,” NTSB’s CAC Workshop, November 5-6, 2008. Ashburn, VA.
Panelist, “The Criminalization of Aviation Accidents,” Flight Safety Foundation’s 61st Annual International Air Safety Seminar (IASS) 2008, October 27-30, 2008. Honolulu, HI.
Moderator, "Market-Based Remedies to Airport Congestion: Helpful or Harmful?" Webinar, ABA Form on Air & Space Law, October 10, 2008, Washington, D.C.
Panelist, “The Legal Debate and Zoning, “ FAA’s Competition For The Sky 2008, September 29 – October 2, 2008. Las Vegas, NV.
Moderator, “Global Antitrust and Competition Law,” ABA Forum on Air & Space Law Annual Meeting, Sept. 18-19, 2008. Montréal, Canada.
Panelist, “Data-Sharing in the Spotlight,” 54th Annual Air Safety and Security Forum, Airline Pilots Association (ALPA), August 13-14, 2008. Washington, DC.
Panelist, “The ‘Just Culture’ – Criminal Liability and Safety,” 9th Beaumont International Aviation Conference, June 25-26, 2008. London, United Kingdom
Panelist, "Tackling the Issues that LCCs Face," Low Cost Airlines World Americas, June 17-19, 2008. Coral Gables, FL.
Moderator, “Breaking Down Barriers to Global Capital Investment and Ownership,” 28th Annual New York Airfinance Conference, April 21-22, 2008. New York, NY
Moderator, "Criminalization of Aviation Accidents," European Aviation Safety Seminar, March 10-12, 2008. Bucharest, Romania.
Panelist, "Managing Scarce Airport Resources: Slots, Secondary Trading, Auctions, Congestion Pricing, and the Schedules Conferences," Feb. 10-12, 2008. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Panelist, "Dealing with Airport Congestion and Delays," 2008 AAAE Aviation Issues Conference Agenda, Jan. 6-8, 2008. Kona, HI.
Moderator, "Change in the Airline Industry - New Entrants, Mergers, Competition, and Consolidation," ABA Forum on Air & Space Law Annual Meeting, Oct. 4-5, 2007. Memphis, TN.
Panelist, "Claims Handling Developments Around the Word," Munich Liability Seminar of the European Air Law Association, Sept. 21, 2007. Munich, Germany.
Panelist, "Blacklisting of Airlines and Airports Based on Safety and Security Concerns," International Civil Aviation Organization/McGill Institute of Air & Space Law, Worldwide Conference, Sept. 15-16, 2007. Montreal, Canada.
Co-Chair, 27th Annual New York Air Finance Conference. Speaker: "Legal View: Liberalizing Airline Ownership and Control to Drive Growth," April 23-24, 2007. New York, NY.
Moderator, "International Opportunities, International Challenges," ABA Forum on Air & Space Law, Update Conference, Feb 1, 2007. Washington, D.C.