Eric Smith concentrates his practice in the airport, aviation-based labor, airport concessions, and bankruptcy arenas. He represents airport owners and operators of all sizes across the United States, providing legal and practical counsel on a full spectrum of issues that range from drafting large-scale operating agreements, to securing federal assistance for air carrier service, to obtaining federal grants for capital improvements to the airport.
With respect to airport finances, Eric uses his broad financial expertise to fashion solutions for airports sponsors facing a myriad of challenges in a variety of settings. Whether it involves a critical re-examination of airline rates and charges or developing innovative ways to develop airport property into an income-producing asset, Eric has the tools and experience to provide innovative and forward-thinking counsel on the challenges that face airports today.
Eric has deep expertise in structuring and negotiating complex business arrangements, both in the distressed and non-distressed business contexts. Eric’s bankruptcy experience is broad and deep, having represented debtors, and a wide-array of creditors (including large banks, landlords, and airports), in Chapter 11 proceedings all across the United States. He has particular expertise in representing airport operators and aircraft owners and lessees in airline bankruptcies having been deeply involved in all post-9/11 airline bankruptcy cases and has served as counsel to airports of all sizes in those cases.
As an experienced litigator, Eric is also well equipped to handle airport-based litigation, whether it is lawsuits brought by airlines, tenants, or property owners. His practice covers regulatory and litigation matters proceedings before the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, and in cases filed in both the state and federal courts.
He is also experienced in labor and employment matters and assists airport sponsors in navigating the myriad of issues involving on-airport employment matters, including labor peace agreements, prevailing wage ordinances, and how those issues may impact concessions programs, such as ACDBE programs.