Transportation Administrative Agency

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These Taxi Drivers Are Not Employees Says Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

We have been following the high-publicity battle between Uber and Lyft, on the one hand, and the drivers on the other, over whether the drivers are properly classified as independent contractors. Uber and Lyft argue they are...more

FAA Proposes Framework of Regulations For Small-Scale Commercial Drones

On Feb. 15 the Federal Aviation Administration released its long-awaited proposed framework for regulating small-scale commercial drones, which weigh less than 55 pounds.1 In its proposal, the FAA made explicitly clear that...more

New Standards for Shipping Crude Oil, Petroleum Products and Renewable Fuel by Rail

On Friday, May 1, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) issued a final rule establishing new requirements for transporting flammable liquids in a continuous block of 20 or more tank cars or 35 or more tank cars loaded...more

“Peace Train” or “Crazy Train”?

In my former days defending agency actions in federal court, I had a standard line I used with frequent success when rules were attacked by all sides: “Your Honor, we’ve been sued here by both industry and environmental...more

Recent Surface Transportation Board Preemption Decisions of Note

In the last several months, the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) has issued a number of decisions further defining the scope of federal preemption. As the primary agency tasked with the economic regulation of the...more

Over 4,400 comments on FAA’s proposed drone framework; Amazon wants less restrictions and more room for technological advancement

The comments period closed on April 24, 2015, for the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposed drone framework and regulations, and there were over 4,400 comments submitted. Among those opposed to the limited scope of the...more

Weigand v. N.L.R.B: A Double Standard for Social Media?

On April 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) decision finding a local branch of the Amalgamated Transit Union (“Union”) could...more

Recent Crude-by-Rail Developments

The transportation of crude oil by rail continues to be a key issue for rail and energy industry stakeholders as well as policy makers. Below is a summary of recent developments. 1. DOT Takes Six Crude-by-Rail Safety...more

Oil on the Rails: States Increasing Regulation of Oil Trains

The increase in North American petroleum production in recent years, coupled with inadequate pipeline infrastructure, has resulted in a significant rise of, and reliance on, the transport of crude oil by rail. Public...more

FRA's Proposed Rule on Risk Reduction Programs Puts the Outreach Obligations Squarely on Railroad Management

On February 27, 2015, the Federal Railroad Administration ("FRA") published its proposed rule on Risk Reduction Programs in the Federal Register. The proposed rule would require Class I railroads and railroads with an...more

Justices Spar Over Pre-Emption as High Court Allows State Law Antitrust Claims to Proceed Against Interstate Pipelines

On April 21, 2015, in a 7-2 decision authored by Justice Breyer, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state law antitrust claims brought against interstate pipeline companies by a group of manufacturers and other retail buyers...more

FAA approves Amazon’s second request to test its delivery drones in the skies

While Amazon.com Inc. (Amazon) did receive approval to fly its test drones from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) back in March of this year for its July 2014 request, that approval proved to be useless after Amazon...more

EPIC files suit against FAA for lackadaisical drone privacy regulations

On March 31, 2015, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a petition against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with the D.C. Circuit court asking that the court review the FAA’s proposed rule on...more

FAA Streamlines Section 333 Exemption Process for Commercial UAS Operations - Summary Grant Process Increases Approved...

In response to pressure from Congress and the high demand for exemptions to use unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for commercial purposes, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has streamlined its processes for granting...more

Generation ¥ RMB: The New Global Currency

In this issue: - Foreword - Executive summary - Part 1: The big picture - A&O view: Coming to China and carrying renminbi - Part 2: Why paying in RMB is paying off - A&O view:...more

FERC Finalizes Rule on Natural Gas and Electric Scheduling Practices

The reforms are aimed to address natural gas and electric scheduling concerns resulting from the increase in gas-fired generation, to provide greater flexibility to industry participants, and to better ensure reliable and...more

The GAO Issued A Report Recommending Improvements For Aircraft Cybersecurity

On April 14, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) issued a report highlighting cybersecurity challenges as the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) transitions to the Next Generation Air Transportation System...more

Section 333 at 200 days: Where are we now?

Since the FAA granted the first Section 333 Exemption on September 25, 2014, potential commercial unmanned aircraft system (“UAS” or “drone”) users have eagerly monitored the agency’s progress. Let’s review the first 200-day...more

Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions - April 2015

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update includes an overview of the FAA’s new contract maintenance rules, DOT and FAA notices on flight prohibitions in conflict zones, the latest news on the integration...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law – April 16, 2015

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions this morning during its April term. This term resulted in several opinions affecting Virginia local government law. Opinions addressed evidence in a condemnation case, interpreted...more

D.C. District Court Dismisses Delta’s Appeals Against U.S. Ex-Im Bank

In a series of three decisions published on March 30, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has dismissed appeals brought by Delta Air Lines and other plaintiffs against the U.S. Export-Import Bank...more

FAA Concedes Merely Posting Drone Video Does Not Violate Federal Regulations - A New Directive Notes Agency Lacks Authority to...

The Federal Aviation Administration, after more than a year of warning media companies and hobbyists that posting or linking to any footage filmed by drones may violate the law, has finally acknowledged that its inspectors...more

FAA Drone Use Exemptions Break the 100 Mark

With the latest round of approvals, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted over 100 Section 333 Exemptions allowing businesses to begin using small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for a variety of purposes. ...more

Commercial Drones: When Tech Flies Faster Than the Speed of Government

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones as they are more commonly known, are under intense scrutiny by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In fact, the FAA itself is under scrutiny, by big and small businesses...more

EPIC Files Suit For Public Rulemaking To Address Privacy Concerns Posed By Drones

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC”) filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on March 31, 2015, to force the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) to conduct a rulemaking...more

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