Carrying Firearms On Aircraft

Written by Greg Reigel

Carrying Firearms On Aircraft

© 2004 Reigel & Associates, Ltd./Aero Legal Services. All rights reserved.

A client recently asked me whether he could carry a firearm on an aircraft. As usual, my lawyerly answer was “it depends”. What does it depend upon? Well, for starters, what type of firearm? Will it be carried concealed or onrepparttar person (e.g. using a concealed carry weapon “CCW” permit), or will it be in checked luggage? What type of aircraft? Is it a commercial flight or a private flight? Isrepparttar 119261 flight interstate or intrastate? The answers to these questions dictate whether or how you can transport a firearm on an aircraft.

Probablyrepparttar 119262 best way to look atrepparttar 119263 issue is to determine where you will be withrepparttar 119264 firearm when you boardrepparttar 119265 aircraft: Within a sterile area of an airport or within a non-sterile area of an airport. Several different statutes apply to transportation of firearms on aircraft, depending uponrepparttar 119266 type of aircraft and aircraft operation and where you boardrepparttar 119267 aircraft.

Sterile Area

What is a sterile area? U.S. Statute 49 CFR 1540.5 defines it as “a portion of an airport defined inrepparttar 119268 airport security program that provides passengers access to boarding aircraft and to whichrepparttar 119269 access generally is controlled by TSA, or by an aircraft operator under part 1544 of this chapter or a foreign air carrier under part 1546 of this chapter, throughrepparttar 119270 screening of persons and property.” This isrepparttar 119271 area beyondrepparttar 119272 security checkpoints and up to and includingrepparttar 119273 gates torepparttar 119274 aircraft. You have to subject yourself and your carry on luggage to search and inspection (including removing your shoes, walking through metal detectors etc.) in order to enterrepparttar 119275 sterile area.

Once within a sterile area, U.S. Statute aircraft. Thus, if you have to pass through a security screening checkpoint to enter a sterile area, firearms are prohibited withinrepparttar 119277 sterile area and on board aircraft that you board from a sterile area.

The regulation provides exceptions for law enforcement officers (LEO’s) required to carry firearms or other weapons while inrepparttar 119278 performance of law enforcement duties atrepparttar 119279 airport, for individuals authorized to carry a weapon in accordance with §1544.219(LEO), §1544.221(LEO w/prisoner), §1544.223(Air Marshal), or §1546.211(foreign air carrier provision for LEO) or an individual authorized to carry a weapon in a sterile area under a security program.

Although aircraft usingrepparttar 119280 sterile area may be operated by an airline or an on-demand charter operator, those aircraft may also be operated by freight carriers, or in some cases, privately owned aircraft. 49 CFR §1550.5 provides a “catch-all” expandingrepparttar 119281 prohibition on possession of firearms to all operations, not just airlines and charter, boarding or unloading usingrepparttar 119282 sterile area of an airport. Thus, regardless ofrepparttar 119283 type of operation, if you have to go through a sterile area to boardrepparttar 119284 aircraft and you do not fall within one ofrepparttar 119285 exceptions, you will not be able to carry a firearm with you on your person or in your carry-on luggage. Period.

However, even if you are prohibited from carrying a firearm with you ontorepparttar 119286 aircraft, you may still be able to bring your firearm along in your checked luggage. U.S. Statute 49 CFR 1540.111(c) applies torepparttar 119287 transportation of firearms within your checked baggage. You may not transport loaded firearms. However, you may transport unloaded firearms provided that you declarerepparttar 119288 firearms torepparttar 119289 aircraft operator (usually by filling out a declaration form),repparttar 119290 firearm is unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and you arerepparttar 119291 only one to retain a key or combination forrepparttar 119292 lock.

This regulation does not prohibit you from carrying ammunition in your checked baggage or inrepparttar 119293 same container as a firearm. Also, each individual aircraft operator may have differing policies and guidelines regardingrepparttar 119294 transportation of unloaded firearms, as well as ammunition. It is best to check with your aircraft operator well in advance of your departure date to make sure you knowrepparttar 119295 aircraft operator’s requirements and procedures and that you will to arrive atrepparttar 119296 airport able to comply.

Non-Sterile Area

If you are within a non-sterile area of an airport,repparttar 119297 statutes and regulations do not apply. However, your ability to possess a firearm will depend uponrepparttar 119298 type of flying you will be doing as well asrepparttar 119299 state law applicable torepparttar 119300 airport.

U.S. Statute 49 USC §46505 makes it a crime subject to fine, imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both, if a person “when on, or attempting to get on, an aircraft in, or intended for operation in, air transportation or intrastate air transportation, has on or aboutrepparttar 119301 individual orrepparttar 119302 property ofrepparttar 119303 individual a concealed dangerous weapon that is or would be accessible torepparttar 119304 individual in flight.” Additionally, under 49 USC §46303 “[a]n individual who, when on, or attempting to board, an aircraft in, or intended for operation in, air transportation or intrastate air transportation, has on or aboutrepparttar 119305 individual orrepparttar 119306 property ofrepparttar 119307 individual a concealed dangerous weapon that is or would be accessible torepparttar 119308 individual in flight is liable torepparttar 119309 United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each violation”.

Understanding Aircraft Insurance Policies

Written by Greg Reigel

My Policy Says What?!: Understanding An Aircraft Insurance Policy

© 2004 Reigel & Associates, Ltd./Aero Legal Services. All rights reserved.

Many states require that owners and/or operators of aircraft have insurance covering their aircraft and operations. At a minimum, states usually require third-party liability coverage. This applies to injuries to third-persons that result from operation of your aircraft. Additionally, if your aircraft is pledged as collateral for financing,repparttar lender will require that you have hull coverage and/or replacement value insurance to insurerepparttar 119260 value ofrepparttar 119261 aircraft collateral.

Obtainingrepparttar 119262 Policy

So, how do you obtain aircraft insurance? Typically, you apply for aircraft insurance through an insurance agent or broker who represents an insurance company or companies that provide aircraft insurance policies. The insurance company then reviewsrepparttar 119263 application and does any additional investigation necessary for it to assess its risk in providing you with insurance for your aircraft or operations. Its risk isrepparttar 119264 likelihood that it may have to pay out on a claim against your policy.

In exchange for its acceptance of risk,repparttar 119265 insurance company charges you a premium. The amount of that premium is a direct product ofrepparttar 119266 amount of risk thatrepparttar 119267 insurance company is assuming by extending coverage to your aircraft or operation. The greaterrepparttar 119268 risk,repparttar 119269 more expensiverepparttar 119270 insurance coverage will be. In some cases,repparttar 119271 insurance company may not be willing to accept a particular risk for any price.

Factors that affectrepparttar 119272 underwriting decision include type of aircraft, pilot qualifications (e.g. total time, time in type, pilot certificates/ratings), nature ofrepparttar 119273 operation (e.g. pleasure, business, Part 91 or Part 135) and base of operations. General aviation policies can include non-commercial pleasure and business use under FAR Part 91 or commercial use under FAR Part 135.

Readingrepparttar 119274 Policy

When an aviation insurance policy is issued, it represents a contract between you and your insurance company. As long as you comply with all ofrepparttar 119275 terms and requirements ofrepparttar 119276 policy, your insurance company will provide you with coverage. If you fail to comply and a claim arises, you may find yourself without coverage.

But, what doesrepparttar 119277 aircraft insurance policy actually say? Well, as a practical matter, it is quite common that pilots and operators do not read their policies. Sure, they may reviewrepparttar 119278 declaration page to confirm thatrepparttar 119279 correct parties are named and thatrepparttar 119280 appropriate coverage limits are in place, but often times that is as far as it goes. Sometimes an owner or operator may even ask his or her agent to explain some ofrepparttar 119281 policy’s terms.

Unfortunately,repparttar 119282 policy contains quite a bit more information of whichrepparttar 119283 pilot or operator needs to be aware of to ensure that he or she complies withrepparttar 119284 terms ofrepparttar 119285 policy. A thorough review ofrepparttar 119286 policy is both prudent and recommended.

This review should begin withrepparttar 119287 Data Page or Declaration Page. First, confirm thatrepparttar 119288 aircraft is correctly identified and thatrepparttar 119289 appropriate owner and any additional insured parties are included. Also readrepparttar 119290 coverage limits to make sure that you haverepparttar 119291 limits for which you are paying.

Aircraft Damage Coverage

The typical aircraft insurance policy will include both aircraft damage coverage, as well as aircraft liability coverage. The aircraft damage coverage applies when your aircraft sustains damage (e.g. bent metal, broken windows etc.). This coverage comes in two flavors: In-flight/In-motion and Not-in-flight/Not-in-motion.

As you may have guessed, inrepparttar 119292 first instance your aircraft will be insured for damages it sustains while it is in use: moving underrepparttar 119293 power of its own engine, whether taxiing or flying. Inrepparttar 119294 latter instance, you aircraft will only be insured while it is parked onrepparttar 119295 ramp or inrepparttar 119296 hangar. This coverage is less expensive because it presents far less exposure torepparttar 119297 insurance company. It will only have to pay a claim if something happens to your aircraft while it is standing still and not in use. An aircraft owner may want this limited coverage whenrepparttar 119298 aircraft is going to be stored and unused for a period of time.

It is also possible to purchase “all risk ground and flight” coverage. This coverage protects you whetherrepparttar 119299 aircraft is moving or not. However, a policy with this coverage will likely be more expensive than a policy that is either In-flight/In-motion or Not-in-flight/Not-in-motion.

The aircraft damage coverage provides for transportation ofrepparttar 119300 aircraft to and fromrepparttar 119301 location at whichrepparttar 119302 repairs are made, any related storage charges andrepparttar 119303 actual repair ofrepparttar 119304 aircraft. However, most policies will also exclude coverage for damage sustained by your aircraft as a result of governmental seizure, resulting from repossession or enforcement of a lien against your aircraft or damage that is due to ordinary wear and tear, deterioration or age.

Assumingrepparttar 119305 damage to your aircraft is covered, you should read your policy language to determine whether it contains any specific restrictions or requirements relating to processing of your claim, who performsrepparttar 119306 repairs, where they are performed and even how they are to be performed. Simply because you have insurance coverage, this does not mean that you have carte blanche for having your aircraft repaired.

Aircraft Liability Coverage

Aircraft liability coverage protects you from liability or responsibility to third-persons for damages they may suffer resulting fromrepparttar 119307 operation of your aircraft. The coverage requires thatrepparttar 119308 insurance company both indemnify and defend you against such claims. Indemnification means that if you are responsible forrepparttar 119309 damage to a third-person,repparttar 119310 insurance company will payrepparttar 119311 third-person directly, up torepparttar 119312 policy limits,repparttar 119313 amount for which you are responsible.

The duty to defend means thatrepparttar 119314 insurance company will pay for your defense costs if you are sued by a third-person alleging that your operation of your aircraft caused damage. The insurance company will hire an attorney, usually experience in aviation law, to represent you and defend againstrepparttar 119315 claims. Givenrepparttar 119316 complexity and cost of aviation litigation, this benefit alone can be worth a substantial amount of money and may even exceedrepparttar 119317 amount of money actually paid byrepparttar 119318 insurance company to indemnify you.

Your policy will always have a maximum limit for liability coverage that can be either “sub-limit” or “smooth” coverage. An example of sub-limit coverage is a policy that provides for $1,000,000 per occurrence and $200,000 per passenger. This does not mean that you have $1,000,000 to pay all claims.

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