Bennett Aviation Consulting offers specialized service to the airport community in federal requirements that affect airport governance, finance, infrastructure development, safety, and operations.



While in law school he served as special assistant to the Maryland State Aviation Administrator at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.  Prior to entering law school, he served as pilot and instructor pilot in the U.S. Air Force. 


Mr. Bennett holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law, an M.S. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in English literature from Bucknell University.


As Assistant Chief Counsel for Airports and Environmental Law and Director of Airport Safety and Standards, Mr. Bennett:


  • Initiated development of the agency's Part 16 compliance procedures and directed every investigation and Director's Determination under Part 16 from 1996 through 2007;

  • Directed the development of compliance policies under the AIP grant assurances and federal surplus property deeds, on such varied subjects as standards for evaluating reasonableness of noise restrictions, approval of  air carrier incentive programs, compatible land use near airports, use of pavement weight restrictions, and use of peak period pricing.

  • Participated in the development and drafting of the DOT Policy on Airport Rates and Charges and the FAA Policy and Procedures Concerning the Use of Airport Revenue;

  • Supervised the 2004 revision of 14 CFR Part 139, Certification of Airports, and directed policy on the implementation of the new certification requirements and classes.

  • Directed the review of all applications filed under the FAA Airport Privatization Pilot Program from 1996 through 2007;

  • Directed the FAA's first compliance action under the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (ANCA);

  • Directed the FAA response to NTSB findings and recommendations relating to airports on major aircraft accidents (including Little Rock, Chicago Midway, and Lexington);

  • Reorganized the Office of Airport Safety and Standards to establish a separate compliance division with specialized expertise in noise restrictions, financial audits, and general aviation airport operation.


As Assistant Chief Counsel and Director of Airport Safety and Standards, Mr. Bennett:


  • Supervised attorneys and three divisions of airport engineers, safety certification specialists, and compliance specialists; 

  • Drafted regulatory and statutory language;

  • Testified in congressional hearings in both the House and Senate, and routinely briefed members and staff on agency matters;

  • Gave testimony as the FAA witness in depositions, administrative hearings and U.S. district court;

  • Testified on FAA requirements for runway safety areas and engineered material arresting systems before the NTSB in accident investigation proceedings;

  • Drafted testimony and talking-point papers for agency executives in congressional and other meetings;

  • Conducted press interviews;

  • Has been a frequent speaker on FAA safety, compliance, and privatization policy at airport industry conferences.


Mr. Bennett is the author of "Airport Privatization After Midway," American Bar Association Air & Space Lawyer, Volume 23, Number 1, 2010


As Principal of Bennett Aviation Consulting, Mr. Bennett has assisted more than 50 clients in the airport community in matters dealing with FAA airport policy and requirements.

David Bennett retired from the Federal Aviation Administration in January 2008 after 12 years as Director, Airport Safety and Standards in the Airports Line of Business.  During that time he was responsible for issuing FAA's airport design and construction standards, for oversight of the 14 CFR Part 139 safety certification and inspection of commercial airports, for airport compliance with Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant assurances and surplus property deeds, and for review of applications under the FAA Airport Privatization Pilot Program.  


Mr. Bennett is a member of the Maryland bar, and served 16 years in the FAA Office of the Chief Counsel as Assistant Chief Counsel for Airports and Environmental Law, Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations and Enforcement, Manager of the Airspace and Air Traffic Rules Law Branch, and staff attorney for the Metropolitan Washington Airports.