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Aviation Law

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ANG possesses deep knowledge of the specifics of aviation, which is one of the heavily regulated industries in Bulgaria and worldwide. Our aviation practice, being among the most experienced on the market, constantly helps clients to achieve regulatory compliance, while maintaining efficiency and competitiveness. We assist aviation clients, airlines, airports, ground handling companies, aircraft leasing companies, manufacturing companies, investors, lending institutions, as well as the Bulgarian government.

Based on our specific expertise of aviation law, with its vast assortment of the national and international codes and bilateral and multilateral agreements, we advise multinational companies on a broad range of legal issues concerning:

  • regulatory compliance, including obtainment of various licenses and authorizations;
  • the regulatory aspects of various transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, aircraft leasing, airport concession agreements and other types of airport agreements, agreements with ground handlers, agreements with airport operators and agents;
  • representation of aviation clients in complex litigation procedures, including in anti-trust and unfair competition trials;
  • interpretation and advise on the implementation of international aviation conventions and international law of transportation, including IATA and ICAO conventions etc.

Here below are some of the projects we have been involved in:

  • ANG represents the Bulgarian subsidiary of Swissport International - Swissport Bulgaria, recognized as the biggest independent global ground handling services provider, in several national and EU competition proceedings, including before EU institutions. ANG’s team represents the company before the European Commission in the context of a procedure for infringement of EU law against Bulgaria for failure to apply Council Directive 96/67/EC on access to the ground-handling market at Community airports. Further, cases before Bulgarian courts involve abuse of dominant position by major competitor for applying unreasonably low prices for its ground handling services and against another ground service provider at Sofia Airport, for price dumping policy.
  • ANG frequently acts as a legal advisor of the Ministry of Transport and Communications on strategic projects involving the aviation sector in Bulgaria. Our law firm was assigned to ensure a full-scope legal consultancy in connection with the procedure for granting of a concession through competitive bidding for Bourgas and Varna International Airports. ANG was also selected as consultant to the Ministry to carry out the full preliminary feasibility analysis (technical, financial-economic, legal and ecological) for the preparation of a the concession over the State-owned Plovdiv Airport – an infrastructure of key importance, being the international airport servicing the entire central and South/ South-Eastern region of Bulgaria. ANG also acted as consultants of the Chief Directorate Civil Aviation Administration, the public executive body assigned with the monitoring of the aviation business in the country.
  • ANG further consults the Bulgarian branch of IATA (International Air Transport Association) on numerous issues in the domain of aviation law since its registration.
  • We advised a number of aviation operators, including Air France, Hemus Air, Al Italia in connection with various legal matters arising out of their core business operations in Bulgaria.
  • ANG acted for many years as a legal consultant to Sofia Airport and advised it on a vast array of matters relating to the daily business activities of the airport. ANG was also the prime legal advisor of the project for extension of Sofia Airport funded by EU under the PHARE programme.
  • ANG acted as legal representative of a number of international airport operators, such as Frankfurt Airport, Paris Airport, Heathrow Airport, Hanover Airport, Stuttgart Airport, FMO Passengers services in the insolvency case of the Bulgarian Airlines “Balkan”.