Sauer, Edward William

Edward W. Sauer

Senior Counsel

Edward Sauer focuses his practice in the areas of aircraft transactions and air transportation. He has worked in the aviation industry extensively and is deeply familiar with the issues confronting it. 

His experience includes buying, selling, leasing and financing business and commercial aircraft and representing US and non-US airlines, aircraft component manufacturers, CRSs, GDSs, investors and hedge funds before the US Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and other agencies regulating aspects of air transportation.

Ed regularly represents buyers and sellers of executive and commercial aircraft in negotiating sales and purchase contracts and leases. Over the course of his career, he has bought, sold, leased or financed hundreds of aircraft for private use, business travel, and airline operations.

Ed has also represented airports and developers and government agencies in privatizations both under the US PPP program and internationally.

Additionally, Ed’s practice encompasses the regulatory issues that airlines regularly confront. His expertise includes all aspects of aviation regulatory law as well as the more general legal issues that arise from aviation operations including equipment acquisition, airline computerized reservation systems and transportation infrastructure. He also represents aviation clients in contract negotiations for such matters as GDS service, codesharing and airport access.

Ed’s experience includes US FAA and DOT enforcement and compliance issues for aircraft component manufacturers, travel websites and airlines; airline citizenship and fitness issues involving US and non-US investors including hedge funds; rulemaking proceedings before the US DOT (including the continuing DOT Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections II rulemaking); commercial negotiations for airlines; advice to airlines and travel websites regarding DOT consumer protection rules; airline route proceedings before the US DOT; and airport privatization and concessions.

Ed also has spoken at industry events concerning issues of concern to the aviation community. A recent example is an address that he gave concerning what was then a sweeping proposal by the US DOT for enhanced passenger protection regulations to a group of 70 airline legal counsel at the Fall 2010 Legal Forum of the International Air Transport Association.


  • Representing buyers, sellers, lessors and lessees in numerous transactions involving hundreds of business and air carrier aircraft including, most recently:
    • A series of transactions aggregating more than US$125 million in which a major sports affiliated company bought and sold aircraft to renew its fleet;
    • Acquisition of Gulfstream G550 aircraft by a major biotechnology firm;
    • Acquisition of five Boeing B737 aircraft by a major South America-based airline;
    • Acquisition of two Bombardier Challenger 605 aircraft by a major US insurer;
    • Acquisition of five Gulfstream G350 aircraft by a major US automobile manufacturer.
  • Representing major US passenger and cargo airlines in successful efforts to obtain authority to serve newly opened routes between the United States and China.
  • Representing successfully hedge funds, cargo airlines and passenger airlines in reviews of airline fitness and citizenship by the US DOT following acquisitions of control by new investors.
  • Representing a major US airport in successful efforts to maintain a high level of scheduled airline service and avoid “dehubbing” in the aftermath of a major consolidation of US airlines.
  • Advising foreign governments in Eastern Europe, Northern Africa and state and local government organizations in the United States on structures for the privatization of airports including through public/private partnerships.


  • Georgetown University, J.D., 1974
  • Georgetown University, B.S.F.S., 1971


  • District of Columbia, 1975

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