Dean Griffith counsels clients on aviation regulatory matters, drawing on his nearly 10-year career at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Dean's experience ranges from traditional aircraft regulation to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drone, law and policy. He advises domestic and international clients on FAA safety and certification requirements, aircraft registration standards, use of corporate aircraft, airspace obstruction evaluation requirements, as well as international aviation regulations. He also assists clients with UAS regulatory compliance and operational approvals, corporate UAS policies, and review of proposed legislation and regulations.
As a regulatory lawyer in the FAA's Office of the Chief Counsel, Dean drafted safety regulations and was responsible for seeing them through the notice and comment process, including Office of Management and Budget Review. He also prepared legal interpretations and regulatory exemptions addressing air carriers, corporate aviation, helicopter air ambulance operations, and other commercial aviation matters.
Dean has deep experience and knowledge of unmanned aircraft systems law and policy. As the Chief Counsel's UAS regulatory policy team lead, he counseled agency decision makers on rulemaking, exemptions, and policy development related to unmanned aircraft. Dean advised on the creation of the "Section 333" exemption process, the UAS Pathfinder Program, and on the scope of the agency's jurisdiction to regulate drones.
Additionally, Dean served as senior advisor and acting deputy assistant administrator in the FAA's Office of Government and Industry Affairs, advising on matters concerning Congress, aviation industry groups, and other governmental organizations.
Dean is co-chair of the American Bar Association's Drone Law Committee.
- Fall 2020
Committee Spotlight: Drone Law Committee, American Bar Association, The Air & Space Lawyer
- June 2018
Aviation Law: Incorporating Unmanned Operations, in Handbook of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (K. Valavanis & G. Vachtsevanos eds., Springer, Cham, 2018).
- June 2015
The Regulator’s Perspective: Integrating UAS into the National Airspace System, American Bar Association, coauthor, The Air & Space Lawyer
- February 4, 2021
Drones: Civil and Criminal Perspectives, Defense Association of New York
- September 28, 2020
Drone Regulatory Update – Pending Regulations and Policy Considerations, ABA Drone Law Conference
- June 24, 2020
Drones: Civil and Criminal Perspectives, Columbian Lawyers Association, First Department, and Brehon Law Society of New York.
- April 23, 2020
Drones: Civil and Criminal Perspectives, New York County Lawyers Association
- June 25, 2019
Public Safety Rules and Regulations, Hazmat & Drones Workshop
- June 18, 2019
Understanding Traffic Management: UTM 101 for Lawyers, moderator, ABA 2019 Drone Law Conference
- June 12, 2019
Lawyering for Drone Clients in the U.S.: Basics of Federal Drone Regulation, UTM, and Corporate Best Practices, 2019 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems
- April 24, 2019
Mastering Unmanned Aircraft Systems Law & Regulation, The Rossdale Group
- February 13, 2019
Cleared for Takeoff: Achieving the Promise of Airline Regulatory Reform, Airlines for America, International Air Transport Association Aviation Forum
- October 25, 2018
Aviation Hot Topics: Litigation, Regulatory, and Legislative Developments Facing the Aviation Industry, West LegalEdcenter
- June 13, 2018
Drone Legislation & Regulation: Shaping the Future of Drone Integration, 2018 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems
- June 5, 2018
UAS Regulatory Update: Where are we and where are we going?, ABA Drone Law Conference
- February 23, 2018
How UAS/Drones Have and Will Continue to Impact Transportation, ABA Air and Space Law Forum Update Conference
- The Catholic University of America (J.D. 2006; Production Editor, Catholic University Law Review); Syracuse University (B.A. 1995)
- Maryland, District of Columbia, and U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
- Served with the Federal Aviation Administration in the following positions: Senior Advisor to the Assistant Administrator for Government and Industry Affairs (2017); Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Government and Industry Affairs (2017); Senior General Attorney, Regulations (2016-2017); General Attorney, Regulations (2008-2016)
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary's Team Awards for: B4UFLY Team (mobile app., 2016) and UAS Integration Team (unmanned aircraft systems, 2015)
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Strategic Achievement Award for UAS registration team (2016)
- Law Clerk to Judge Bruce E. Kasold, U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (2007-2008)