For one of the numbered assignments listed below or otherwise approved in advance by your instructor, and guided by the rubric shown here, research, write and post through Turnitin™, a 10-12 page (including cover page & references) double-spaced research paper in APA format. Identify current issues, regulations and practices & address related legal considerations on your chosen topic, using proper legal terminology throughout. You must cite at least 5 references, one of which can be our textbook, if applicable. If you propose an alternative topic for approval by your instructor, your outline must show that your approach will relate that topic to at least 4 of the course Learning Outcomes listed in the Course Syllabus and that it will require the same level of inquiry and legal analysis as these.
- Select a specific civil airport located anywhere in the world and serving commercial airlines, then:
- Describe briefly the airport and its owner/operator, airlines serving the airport, and the city, cities or region served by the airport.
b. Identify the governmental agency or authority or private enterprise responsible for providing security screening of passengers and cargo at the airport.
c. Identify government legal actions taken there to:
- protect the surrounding airspace from obstruction by obstacles,
ii. assure that land uses surrounding the airport are compatible with aircraft noise,
iii. establish runway use preferences, approach & departure paths to minimize aircraft noise impact on surrounding communities.
- Identify the specific government agency or authority that took each such action.
e. Identify the source and type of government legal powers relied on to accomplish each of these actions.
f. Include images illustrating the airport and vicinity relating to those specific actions.
g. Identify and briefly describe all airline accidents that have occurred at or in the vicinity of that airport since 1/01/2000, including the probable cause of each.
h. Identify current airport noise & safety issues that remain of concern to the community and any current activity to address those issues.
i. Analyze whether the airport’s level of activity and forecast air traffic demand appear sustainable at the present location for the long term, clearly explaining your reasoning.
- Select a specific commercial airline headquartered anywhere in the world, then:
- Describe the airline, its aircraft fleet, route structure and number of employees.
b. Determine whether the airline is organized as a corporation with private ownership or is owned by the national government.
c. Identify the governmental agency or authority responsible for regulation of the safety of the airline’s flight operations in its home nation.
d. Describe the certification requirements, including minimum flight time, if any, for commercial airline flight deck crewmembers in the airline’s home nation.
e. Identify the governmental agency or authority, if any, empowered to regulate the routes flown, rates charged, and other economic aspects of the airline’s flight operations.
f. Determine the extent to which the airline’s fleet consists of owned vs. leased aircraft.
g. Identify & describe all accidents involving an aircraft operated by that airline since 1/01/2000, including the probable cause of each.
h. Determine whether the airline’s pilots and maintenance personnel based in the airline’s home nation are represented by a labor union or unions and identify and describe any strike activity that may have disrupted airline operations since 1/01/2000.
i. If neither the airline’s pilots nor its maintenance personnel are represented by a labor union or unions, discern whether a law of the airline’s home nation accounts for that and, if so, briefly describe that law.
Non-Air Carrier Commercial Aviation
- Select a specific, existing non-airline commercial aviation business (such as, for example, an FBO or chain of FBOs) located anywhere in the world, then:
- Describe the company, including
- Form of business (corporation, LLC, etc.),
ii. Nature & scope of operations (i.e.: fuel, supplies, maintenance, flight training, aircraft sales, aircraft rental, etc.),
iii. Location(s) and facilities,
iv. Number of employees.
- Identify and describe with specificity all insurance that company should now have in effect.
c. Determine whether any of the company’s employees are represented by a labor union or unions and identify and describe any strike activity that may have disrupted company operations at any location since 1/01/2000.
d. If no employees of the company are represented by a labor union or unions, discern the likely reason.
e. If any employees of the company are represented by a labor union or unions, but no strike activity has occurred since 1/01/2000, discern the likely reason for the lack of such disruption.
f. Determine whether the company is or has been involved in any mergers with or acquisitions of or by other companies and whether any such consolidation appears likely in the foreseeable future.
g. Identify laws applying to the potentially anticompetitive aspects of business mergers & acquisitions in nation(s) where the company is located.
- Blue Eyes, Inc. is a U.S. company that began in the commercial aerial photography business but has been expanding in recent years into other forms of airborne sensing, imaging, and mapping such as infrared, ultraviolet, hyperspectral and radar (including ground-penetrating radar). The company is headquartered in the Pacific Northwest, and most of its customers are located in the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Perceiving a growing market for its products and services, but noticing an increasing shortage of qualified pilots available for hire and capable of flying with the degree of precision required by these missions, the company has decided to explore the possibility of acquiring & utilizing unmanned aircraft systems to perform some of these missions. Some of these tasks, such as precision micro-mapping of the ground moisture distribution on smaller farms could be performed by UAS smaller than 55 lbs. (either fixed or rotary-wing) and operating at or below 500’ AGL (above ground level)., while other large-scale mapping such as the company performs under contract for state environmental agencies would require much heavier, much higher-flying fixed-wing UAS with much longer endurance. Some contracts require flight over congested urban areas in busy controlled and positively-controlled airspace, while others focus on sparsely-populated or unpopulated areas with less busy airspace. The company has hired you to advise them on the UAS project in this time of rapid legal developments in the industry. Research and prepare a paper covering the following:
- Describe in detail the current FAA regulatory requirements governing the operations of the full range of UAS that may be needed to cover as many of the company’s customer needs as possible, considering the differing operating environments given and specifically addressing:
- Airspace & altitude restrictions,
ii. Company, operator & visual observer qualifications,
iii. Company, operator & visual observer line-of-sight limitations,
iv. Limitations on operator & visual observer simultaneously controlling/observing multiple UAS, and
v. Potential penalties against the company, its operators & visual observers in the event of an FAR violation.
- Analyze and describe the duties of the company and its operators, if any, to notify any federal agency and submit a written report in the event of an incident or accident involving a company UAS.
c. Analyze current state laws in each of the 4 states where the company operates to determine whether, and if so to what extent, they might also affect the company’s proposed UAS operations.
d. Analyze the potential liability of the company, its owners and employees in civil litigation arising out of injuries to others (such as a collision with a manned aircraft or crash harming persons or property on the ground during company UAS operations).
- Caused by a maintenance or operational error by a company employee acting within the scope of his/her employment.
ii. If the violation of an FAR intended to prevent such accidents was involved.
iii. If UAS operations are deemed to be an ultrahazardous activity (take into consideration that a major cause of UAS accidents is interruption of the ground-air data link).
- Assume that the company’s current operations are adequately insured. Advise the company on additional insurance you recommend adding to cover these UAS & their operations, explaining your reasoning clearly.
- Close Up Aviation Corp. is a commercial helicopter operator specializing in providing air support to Hollywood motion picture and television production companies using specially-trained and highly-experienced flight crews and aircraft equipped with the latest technology in gyro-stabilized camera mounts for air-to-ground and air-to-air cinematography. Typically, Close Up furnishes the flight crews and aircraft, while the production company provides the cameras, along with on-board cinematographers and related technical personnel. The company will be providing its services to the producers of a new action thriller, and much of the flying will involve high-speed maneuvering flight at very low altitudes over broken terrain, between buildings, under bridges and powerlines and in very close proximity to actors and camera crews on the ground, vehicles and other participating aircraft, and amidst explosions and other pyrotechnics. Close Up is also considering adding appropriate camera-carrying unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to its fleet of camera aircraft, and hiring and training crews to operate them. Some of the more dangerous shots might be accomplished using those aircraft instead of the manned helicopters. A group of prospective investors in the movie hires you to review the production company plan of aviation operations and advise them on risk management concerns. Research and prepare a paper covering the following:
- Determine which individuals and companies could be deemed to be an “operator” of aircraft (both manned and unmanned) involved in this project, for FAR compliance purposes.
b. Identify specific Federal Aviation Regulations involved and FAA certificates of waiver or authorization required.
c. Analyze whether these operations might be considered an ultrahazardous activity in the eyes of the law, and the effect of that determination on the level of legal risk Close Up and the production company will be exposed to in these operations.
d. Itemize with specificity insurance coverages that both the production company and Close Up Aviation Corp. should have in place to cover potential injuries to their respective employees.
e. Identify and describe with specificity aircraft insurance (for both the manned & unmanned aircraft) Close Up should have in place to cover potential aircraft damage, injuries to others, and damage to the property of others that might result from these operations.
f. Identify and describe any additional insurance you consider it prudent for Close Up and the production company to have in place in case an accident causes injuries and/or damages that exceed the liability limits of the policies you identified above.
g. Analyze and identify any legal risk management tool(s) that might be useful in addition to the foregoing in these operations.
- Colossal Aerospace Corporation is developing a new heavy-lift rocket engine to replace the Russian-built RD-180 currently relied on by NASA and by other government agencies for military applications, and to serve the needs of the burgeoning commercial space launch market. The company anticipates producing the rocket engines for sale to U.S. and foreign commercial enterprises and governments, incorporating the engines into a line of launch vehicles it is developing for potential customers, and also offering launch services to those customers, using its own launch complex, equipment & crews. You have applied for a project management position with Colossal and have a job interview scheduled next week at the company’s Merritt Island, Florida headquarters. Intimate knowledge of this rapidly-evolving industry will be a crucial factor in the selection process. To prepare yourself for this interview and for the job, research prepare a paper covering the following:
- Identify the key U.S. statutes that establish the national policy and legal framework for regulation of commercial space operations.
b. Identify each federal agency and office responsible for regulation of launch vehicle certification, testing, and operations, describing the specific area of responsibility of each such entity and clearly distinguishing the roles of each.
c. Describe federal permits required for the company to conduct rocket launches for experimental testing and for commercial purposes at the following two optional locations:
- The Cape Canaveral Spaceport.
ii. A launch site to be developed by the company on Matagorda Island, Texas.
- Detail the process to qualify the launch vehicles to fly NASA and NASA-sponsored unmanned and eventually manned payloads.
e. Determine whether the Arms Export Control Act and related U.S. Munitions List might interfere with the company’s plans for export sales of these engines and launch vehicles.
f. Describe legal requirements for commercial space launch operators to obtain and the commercial availability of:
i. Third-party liability insurance to cover injuries to persons and property on the ground or in aircraft that might result from a launch or recovery mishap
- Launch risk guarantee insurance to cover failure to deliver the payload to its intended destination or orbit
iii. Liability insurance to cover injuries to participants, such as space tourists.
- If you find that any of the above insurance coverages are not yet available on the commercial market, and are not required by law, identify an alternative approach to management of that risk.
h. Identify the federal agency responsible for investigation and determination of the probable cause of space vehicle launch- and recovery-related accidents and incidents and operator notifications and reports required.
i. Identify any international organization responsible for establishment of international technical standards for certification of spacecraft crews and space worthiness of launch vehicles and manned spacecraft.
Commercial Spaceflight Operations
- Project GoForth is a private endeavor funded by a cosmically-oriented religious organization to establish a self-sustaining human colony of its adherents on Mars. In order to expedite the arrival of the first groups of the organization’s colonists and contain the initial costs, they plan to initially rely solely on proven existing technology (a reliable 3-stage vertical takeoff expendable rocket that is commercially available off the shelf, propelling an automatically-operated crew & cargo capsule that will make a soft landing on Mars using its own cluster of braking rockets). For that purpose, and to assure that only the most fervent and dedicated believers undertake the mission, the organization’s bold plan is to make these one-way trips, with no chance of return to earth. The first arrivals will be responsible to establish a base of operations, explore the useful resources of the immediate area, extract water, begin greenhouse-style gardening, and generally prepare the base to receive the next arrivals. The organization hires you as a technical consultant on the project. Research and prepare a paper covering the following:
- Identify and describe all certification requirements that apply to the rocket and spacecraft (capsule) for this mission.
b. Identify and describe all certification requirements that apply to passengers & crew for this mission.
c. Identify and describe all insurance required by law for this mission and determine the current availability of that insurance in the commercial marketplace.
d. If you find that any of the above insurance coverages are not yet available on the commercial market, and are not required by law, identify an alternative approach to management of that risk.
e. The organization plans to eventually build an extensive mining and refining operation on Mars, using extracted natural resources to establish a commercial space refueling & resupply station, envisioning selling fuel, water & oxygen to transient spacecraft to earn profits for the organization.
- Identify all existing international treaties and their specific provisions that may affect the legality of this planned commercial operation, discussing all potential legal questions these raise.
ii. Analyze whether these existing treaties are adequate to address this group’s legal property rights to exclude others from its base, refinery, and the areas of these mining claims and to profit from the sale of products produced from those natural resources.
iii. We know from our experiences on earth that mining can scar the landscape and (along with processing of the minerals mined) leave behind detritus and conditions that can be harmful and have long-lasting adverse effects on the environment. On earth, laws have been enacted and are enforced to prevent and reverse such contamination. Determine whether any existing law (including treaties) applies to such activities on Mars.
iv. If the planned commercial operation might violate one or more applicable treaties, or if intruders might infringe on the group’s mining claims and trespass on its facilities, describe the enforcement mechanism that would address any such violations.
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