David Norton is head of the firm's aviation law practice and a member of the firm's management committee. He has a nationally recognized aviation law practice that encompasses a broad range of regulatory, transactional and commercial issues, including various transactional matters such as whole and fractional aircraft sale and purchase; management, leasing, hangaring and refurbishment arrangements; and commercial civil litigation and arbitration disputes involving the ownership, operation and manufacture of aircraft and aircraft parts. He also handles disputes involving other aviation-related businesses and overall aviation-related risk management planning. His clients include individual aircraft owners, operators and manufacturers, corporate flight departments, certificated air carriers and repair stations, as well as various other companies whose businesses invoke transportation-related regulatory oversight. His work has earned him a place on Thomas Reuters Legal's Texas Super Lawyers listing six times, 2008-2013. Mr. Norton served on the Applicability Working Group of the Federal Aviation Administration's Part 135/125 Advisory Rulemaking Committee, the FAA's effort to review and potentially rewrite the regulations that govern all on-demand commercial aviation transportation activity in the United States, and is currently serving as the Industry Co-Chair of the joint FAA/Industry RVSM LOA Process Enhancement Team of the Performance based Advisory Rule Marketing Committee. Mr. Norton was an officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1984 to 1993, serving primarily as a KC-10A pilot and aircraft commander. He received several military decorations, including the Meritorious Service Medal and the Aerial Achievement Medal for his contributions in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Restore Hope. Mr. Norton holds many civil certificates and ratings issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. He is an airline transport pilot (multi-engine land) with a DC-10 type rating, and a commercial pilot (single engine land). He also maintains his certification as a flight instructor, instrument and multi-engine, as well as an advanced ground and instrument instructor.
Mr. Norton is active in numerous professional and civic organizations. He is a past Chair of the Aviation Section of the State Bar of Texas, as well as a past Chair of the National Business Aviation Association's Domestic Operations Committee, and is currently a member of the NBAA's Regulatory Issues Advisory Group, the National Transportation Safety Board Bar Association, the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association and the AOPA Legal Services Panel. He is a advisory board member for the Journal of Air Law & Commerce, published by the Law Review Association of the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Frontiers of Flight Museum, located at Dallas' Love Field Airport, and formally served as president and a trustee of Challenge Air for Kids & Friends, Inc., a Dallas-based nonprofit corporation that provides instructional, therapeutic and educational aviation experiences for disabled children. Mr. Norton regularly writes and speaks on aviation law topics for a number of national and regional business, legal and aviation-oriented organizations.
Mr. Norton received his law degree from Southern Methodist University. He also earned a Masters in Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University and an undergraduate degree from the United States Air Force Academy.
Law School Southern Methodist University, cum laude