Select an Area of Practice

Heyl Royster





The highly specialized body of law governing airport operations, commercial and private flights, and air travel requires an understanding of the regulatory law operable in this field, and the wide body of law applicable to any business concern. Heyl Royster has experience with FAA compliance issues, as well as state laws and common law precedent governing airports and airlines. We have represented clients in aviation and airport-related transactional matters, as well as defended clients in personal injury cases arising from aviation accidents. We serve airports, airline carriers, and other aviation industry clients with both the specialized knowledge required in this field and the broad legal skills resident in our more than 35 practice- and industry-specific groups.

In addition to federal regulations, our attorneys understand the numerous duties and responsibilities for public airports. From holding transparent meetings under Illinois’ Open Meetings Act to responding to public inquiries for information on its business, airports are subject to increasingly stringent guidelines on transparency. Public airports also have special obligations when handling employee matters (due process issues) and negotiating various types of construction and other contracts (Prevailing Wage/Davis-Bacon), and Heyl Royster has experience with them all.

Significant Cases

  • Platinum Jet Center BMI, LLC v. Bloomington Normal Airport Authority Circuit Court of McLean County, Illinois - Breach of contract action brought by plaintiff FBO against defendant airport (our client) seeking $6 million in lost profits and other damages caused by delay in construction of a commercial FBO facility. Jury returned verdict of $8,500 against the defendant airport. No appeal was taken.
  • Platinum Aviation, LLC v. Bloomington Normal Airport Authority Circuit Court of McLean County, Illinois - Breach of contract action relating to the right of an FBO to conduct business operations on certain areas of the airfield and the interaction of the contracts at issue with the defendant airport's FAA Sponsor Assurances and other FAA regulations. Obtained summary judgment for the defendant airport.
  • National City Bank of Michigan/Illinois f/k/a N.C. Illinois Trust Company, as Executor of the Estate 01 L 138, 01 L 171 Florida airplane crash occurred just after take-off due to a faulty throttle linkage assembly installed just 1.7 flight hours before the accident. The pilot and his wife, along with another couple, all perished in the accident. The maintenance facility settled before suit. The issue was whether the pilot engaged in appropriate measures after the power failure occurred. Complex case with multi-million dollar demand settled favorably through mediation.
  • Avemco Ins. Co., Inc. v. Elliott Aviation Flight Services, Inc. 86 F. Supp. 2d 824 (C.D. Ill. 2000) Trial of an airplane crash case involving a Bonanza A36 during a biennial flight review. The issue was determining who was the pilot in command between the flight instructor and the pilot undergoing the biennial flight review.