Francis C. Heil (Email:
Fran Heil, of counsel to the Firm, has been engaged in the practice of regulatory compliance and enforcement law centered on the aviation industry for more than 24 years. Prior to associating with the Firm, Mr. Heil served for more than 19 years as the senior in-house regulatory counsel for American Airlines representing it and its regional carriers in more than 300 separate enforcement actions brought by the Federal Aviation Administration, including a matter that involved the largest civil penalty ever sought by that Agency against an air carrier. As in house counsel, Mr. Heil was solely responsible for providing guidance to the carriers' operating maintenance, engineering and safety departments by providing its business leaders with insightful direction and counsel in many FAA regulatory matters, and more recently DOT and TSA matters, including mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcy, route and slot awards, aircraft and equipment certifications, operations, the carriage and handling of hazardous materials, drug and alcohol testing protocols as well as obtaining relief from certain FAA-mandated regulatory burdens.
Mr. Heil began his legal career in the FAA's Office of Chief Counsel as an Operations Law Branch Staff Attorney within its Regulations Division where he developed an in-depth knowledge of the regulations and federal government rulemaking processes. Prior to beginning his legal career, Mr. Heil, served as a Naval Aviator, piloting multi-engine aircraft and as an instructor pilot on active duty. In addition, while in the Navy, he served as the head of squadron operations and maintenance departments and as the Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station augmentation units, retiring from the Naval Reserve with the rank of Captain in 2007.
Mr. Heil graduated from Union Law School (JD) in 1991 and the United States Naval Academy (BS) in 1981. He is a member of the NY, CT, and DC bar. In 2014, Mr. Heil was named Washington DC Lawyer of the Year, Aviation, by Corporate LiveWire.