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HWL Ebsworth’s Transport Group is pre-eminent in Australia.

Our dedicated Aviation Team advises on all aspects of the aerospace industry in the Asia-Pacific region, including:

  • liability, claims, major casualties, emergency response, investigations and dispute resolution;
  • regulatory advice for airports, air operators and other industry participants on safety, security, traffic rights, airspace protection, environment, noise and foreign investment;
  • commercial transactions such as aircraft and engine sales and leasing, FIFO and charter services, aircraft finance, helicopter and aerial work services, the sale and purchase of aviation businesses, maintenance contracts, ground handling, simulators and training and catering contracts;
  • airports – including airport developments, aeronautical services, airport planning, fuel infrastructure, airport real property and environmental and noise concerns; and
  • aircraft finance – including negotiating finance contractual documents, registering and protecting security interests under the Cape Town Convention and PPSR and structuring.

We act for international and domestic airlines, government agencies, regional and GA operators, flying training schools, maintenance providers, lessors, aircraft purchasers and vendors and their insurers. We also act for most Australian capital city, secondary and regional airports.

Our participation in all areas of the aviation industry gives us specialised knowledge and insights which lead to better quality, more responsive and cost-effective advice for our clients.

Members of our team have practiced as in-house counsel in the aviation industry, allowing us to provide a distinct, client-focused approach.

As a national, full service commercial law firm, our Aviation Team works seamlessly with our construction, public sector, commercial, tax and banking teams, enabling us to provide customised, cross-disciplinary advice for local and international clients.

HWL Ebsworth is ranked as a Band 1 firm for Aviation in Australia by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.

Aviation Liability

HWL Ebsworth has the premier aviation liability practice in Australia.

We understand that the aviation liability landscape is complex, and requires specialist, in-depth knowledge of the various network of local, national and international laws and conventions.
That is why HWL Ebsworth offers a dedicated Aviation Liability Team who work exclusively on matters within the aviation and broader transport industries.

We act for insurers, airlines, airports, aircraft operators and other industry participants such as ground handling companies in the Australia-Pacific region. Our experienced and market-leading team allow us to provide an expert service at a cost-effective price which is tailored to meet the requirements of your claims-handling team.

Our Aviation Liability team is known for its responsiveness, excellent communication and ability to swiftly resolve disputes in the most advantageous manner possible. We work seamlessly with the insured, underwriters, surveyors and other parties.

Members of our aviation team have acted in some of the leading cases in Australian aviation liability law.

We regularly advise on:

  • major losses and complex litigation;
  • passenger claims – from straightforward claims to complex matters;
  • claims for loss of or damage to cargo, baggage and third party property;
  • emergency response and crisis planning; and
  • accident investigations and coronial inquests.

As a full-service law firm, HWL Ebsworth’s Aviation Liability Team can draw on the specialist knowledge of our other practice groups whenever required, allowing us to provide holistic advice.

Regulatory Compliance and Advice

The aviation industry is highly regulated at the international, Commonwealth and state/territory level, with legislation covering areas as broad as safety, licensing, noise, traffic rights, security, slots and airport planning.

HWL Ebsworth’s expert Aviation Team understands the complexities of this regulatory regime and can help you navigate it with confidence.

Our Aviation Team regularly advise airports, domestic and international airlines, the GA industry, charter companies, government entities and other aviation industry participants on Civil aviation safety regulation, Airports, Business Jets, Private operations, Air Service Agreements, Competition and Consumer, Security, FIRB, Privacy and Cyber security, Noise, International aviation and Administrative action.

Commercial Aviation

HWL Ebsworth is a national, full service commercial law firm with a dedicated Aviation Team that focuses specifically on all types of commercial transactions, projects and advice connected with the aviation industry.

Our Aviation Team has many years’ experience acting for air operators, airports, government bodies, aircraft lessors and lessees, training providers, flight schools, and other industry participants in Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Members of our team have worked in-house at airlines which allows us to provide a more
client-focussed approach.

This experience allows us to provide focussed, practical and timely advice on any commercial transaction, large or small. We understand the aviation ‘industry standard’ and how contractual obligations must be made to fit with the insurance and regulatory regimes.

We regularly advise on the sale and purchase of aircraft and engines; Airport access and use agreements; Business jets; Aircraft leasing, charter, cross hire and other operating agreements; Aircraft and engine finance; Contracts for air services; Conditions of carriage for passengers and cargo; Competition and consumer law issues in the aviation industry; Codeshare, interline and agency agreements; The purchase and sale of aviation-related businesses; Ground handling contracts; Maintenance agreements; Insurance clauses and the interplay with aviation insurance legislation and policies; and Procurement of all types of goods and services required by air operators and airports on a day-to-day basis, including software, hardware, arrangements for catering, cleaning, security screening and other aviation-related services.


HWL Ebsworth acts for a number of airports across Australia. Our clients include capital city airports, major secondary airports, regional airports, Council-operated airports and privately owned aerodromes and airstrips.

We regularly advise clients in all areas of law relevant to airports, including airport developments, airport planning, aeronautical, slots, international operations, fuel infrastructure, airport property and environmental aspects of development.

Aircraft Finance

HWL Ebsworth Lawyers understand the complex issues that arise when acquiring and financing mobile assets such as aircraft, while maintaining compliance with the global web of regulations governing the aviation industry.

We regularly act for financial institutions, business jet owners, lessors and commercial aircraft operators in all aspects of aircraft, engine and spares financing.

Our Aviation Team works closely with our Banking & Finance and Tax Teams to provide holistic advice on a broad range of transactions involving commercial aircraft and business jets, including finance and operating leases, pre-delivery funding, aircraft mortgages, financed sale and leaseback, export credit agency arrangements and complex cross-border structures.

We deliver market leading legal services of the highest quality at a highly competitive price.


  • advising a major airport on the creation of easements along boundaries of the airport;
  • advising an airport on the integration of a rail line;
  • advising an airport in relation to PFAS contamination;
  • acting for various airlines and airports in connection with the negotiation of airside and terminal infrastructure access and pricing;
  • advising a council on their rights in connection with a proposed development outside the airport that had the potential to impinge on aviation operations;
  • acting for an airport in establishing international operations at the airport, including advising on contracts with Australian Border Force, the design and construction of new facilities and negotiation of an agreement with the foundational airline;
  • acting for an airport in the implementation of a licence plate reading system in its car parks;
  • assisting a Pacific carrier with export credit agency financing for re-fleeting;
  • acting for a business jet owner in financing, and then refinancing, a business jet for use across multiple jurisdictions;
  • acting for a ‘big 4’ bank in its financing of a fleet of regional aircraft;
  • advising a Pacific airline on ISDA financing arrangements;
  • assisting an Australian operator with obtaining a private placement note facility for the acquisition of a fleet of aircraft;
  • advising on the sale of aircraft with a vendor finance regime; and
  • acting as Australian legal advisors in connection with the novation of a number of helicopter leases.

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