Aviation Law Research Guide

This guide is intended to facilitate research on aviation law in both primary and secondary materials.


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See Title 49, Subtitle VII - Aviation Programs and Title 49, Subtitle I § 106, Federal Aviation Administration

For more information see the Statutes Research Guide.

For materials related to a specific law or bill, or other Congressional documents, use the resources listed below. See the Legislative History Research Guide for more information.

Congress - Committees

Case Law

Both Westlaw and Lexis have discrete topical collections: Transportation Law Collection in Lexis and Transportation Law Collection in Westlaw.  A keyword search becomes much more efficient by first narrowing down to a collection, then filtering for case law. Always use advanced search for the keyword search, as the advanced search page always provides more search options.

Using case index systems in Westlaw and Lexis is an efficient method of identifying cases based on a specific topic and subtopic.  Westlaw uses their Key Number system to index cases; Lexis uses a Topic system. **These systems allow you to find cases based on a specific topic and/or legal issue first, giving you a targeted and discrete collection of cases in which you can perform an advanced keyword search.**

See 48B Aviation Law and its subtopics in Westlaw and Air and Space Law  and its subtopics in Lexis.

See the Case Law Research Guide for more information.

Regulations and Rulemaking

Regulations and other administrative materials are an important aspect of aviation law.  Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) and Special Federal Aviation Regulations (SFARs) are both published in the CFR and on the FAA website. SFARs are typically temporary rules to address a temporary situation and have an expiration date.


Aviation Law Reporter

Using Google to find Administrative Documents

Many documents produced by federal agencies are made available on the agency's website. By using a Google site search you can do a comprehensive search through a specific website, or a specific domain type.  Using this search is often more effective than using the built-in search function in websites.  

Searching a Specific Website
Example: "Operations Over People" site:faa.gov

This search will return any page on faa.gov that has the exact phrase Operations over People.

Searching a Specific Domain
Example: "Operations Over People" site:.gov

This search will return any page on any website with the .gov domain.