October 22, 2020

Volume X, Number 296

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COVID-19 Impact On Aviation: Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Order

On March 23, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order 2020-21 (EO 2020-21) that requires all Michigan individuals to stay at home in order to stem the spread of COVID-19 and temporarily suspends in-person operations for non-critical infrastructure businesses. 

The order remains in effect from 12:01 a.m. on March 24 through April 13, 2020. It contains certain exceptions to the stay at home requirement, identifying certain critical infrastructure businesses and business activities that are allowed to continue minimum basic operations. 

Aviation Industry Impacts

Michigan’s executive order requires all businesses to cease all in-person operations unless the business employs critical infrastructure workers or to conduct minimum basic operations, which includes some transportation and logistics entities. For purposes of determining whether a business is engaged in critical “transportation and logistics” activities, Gov. Whitmer’s order incorporates by reference the March 19 guidance from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which specifically includes the following aviation-related workers:

  • Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, and workers that maintain and inspect infrastructure (including those that require cross-border travel)

  • Employees of firms providing services that enable logistics operations 

  • Employees who repair and maintain aircraft, and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers

  • Air transportation employees, including air traffic controllers, ramp personnel, aviation security, and aviation management

  • Workers who support the maintenance and operation of cargo by air transportation, including flight crews, maintenance, airport operations, and other on- and off- airport facilities workers

Further guidance from the CISA includes in the definition of “Transportation Systems Sector” the “Aviation” subsector which includes commercial and recreation aircraft (manned and unmanned), air traffic control systems, and about 19,700 airports, heliports, landing strips, and sea plane bases. In addition, the aviation mode includes a wide-variety of support services, such as aircraft repair stations, fueling facilities, navigation aids, and flight schools.

While the executive order includes these as aviation and transportation workers and activities that are allowed to continue, it is important to remember that the order limits the activities of the critical workforce and exempted businesses allowing only those workers necessary to conduct minimum basic operations.

© 2020 BARNES & THORNBURG LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 87
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About this Author

Todd Dixon Commercial Litigation & Aviation Attorney
Associate

Todd A. Dixon is an attorney in Barnes & Thornburg's Grand Rapids and Indianapolis offices and focuses his practice on commercial litigation and aviation law.

Todd's practice encompasses a wide variety of aviation law practice areas. He has structured aviation transactions, including domestic and foreign-based aircraft purchase and sale transactions, like-kind exchanges, timeshare agreements, interchange agreements, joint and fractional ownership agreements, personal and executive use policies, FAA registrations, Capetown International Registry, and aircraft leasing transactions...

317-231-7352
Clifford G. Maine, Barnes Thornburg Law Firm, Grand Rapids, Corporate Law Attorney
Partner

Clifford G. Maine is chairman of the firm’s Aviation Law Group. Mr. Maine's practice encompasses a wide variety of aviation law practice areas. He serves as general counsel to numerous aviation organizations, including the Southwest Michigan Regional Airport Authority.

Mr. Maine’s aviation clients include some of the largest corporate flight departments in the world. He has structured numerous aviation transactions, including domestic and foreign-based aircraft purchase and sale transactions, like-kind exchanges, timeshare agreements, interchange agreements, joint and fractional ownership agreements, personal and executive use policies, FAA registrations, Capetown International Registry, and aircraft leasing transactions. Mr. Maine also provides legal counsel on tax-related aviation issues including federal excise tax planning, state sales and use tax planning, and depreciation planning.

In addition to his transactional practice, Mr. Maine regularly represents clients in complex aviation lawsuits and frequently advises on aviation insurance coverage matters, warranty matters, ongoing service requirements, and regulatory requirements.

He is a founding member and Chair of the Tax Committee of the National Business Aircraft Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Business Aircraft Association. Mr. Maine also serves on the State Bar of Michigan Aviation Section (a section of the bar in which he acted as a founding member and past chairperson).

616-742-3944
Mary E. Comazzi Aviation and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles & Corporate Attorney Barnes & Thornburg Southfield, MI
Of Counsel

Mary Comazzi learned precisely what direction she wanted for her career by taking the right steps on the right course at the right time, and she strives to do the same for her clients. Mary’s general commercial and aviation clients appreciate her honesty, practicality and responsiveness in assessing their issues and helping address problems they are facing, in the air or on the ground.

Mary helps clients craft, negotiate and document mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, joint ventures, and other complex commercial transactions. She also has extensive experience structuring...

947-215-1319
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