Lonnie Pera is a partner at Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger, focusing her practice on three areas: airline law and regulation; international aviation law; and international trade. Her trade practice often overlaps with the firm's aviation practice and focuses on doing business in Cuba.
Ms. Pera advises foreign and domestic airlines, charter brokers, and tour operators on a wide range of aviation-related matters. She has extensive experience in public charter and single entity charter matters and has negotiated numerous contracts between airlines and tour operators. Ms. Pera represents clients before the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Transportation Security Administration, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Her services include assisting airline clients with economic and operating authority, operating clearances (including landing rights and Federal inspection services), aviation safety and security, bilateral negotiations, and enforcement matters. She also has guided airline clients in obtaining international air carrier bonds and in implementing voluntary government programs (including CBP's air carrier initiative program and Customs-Trade Participation Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program). Moreover, she has advised these clients on cargo transmission requirements and the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) transmission requirements. She has successfully challenged CBP civil penalties and liquidated damages for alleged Customs violations as well as DOT and FAA penalties for alleged transportation violations.
In the international trade area, Ms. Pera counsels clients on export controls (under the Export Administration Act), defense controls (under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations), and foreign assets control matters. She advises clients on the scope of permitted transactions (including exports and aircraft operations) and prepares various types of license applications to engage in restricted transactions. These applications seek Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) licenses to engage in certain transactions, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) licenses to export and reexport controlled U.S. goods, and Office of Defense Trade Control Policy (DDTC) registration and licenses to export defense articles and services. Ms. Pera also develops compliance programs for clients.
Ms. Pera's international trade practice focuses on the U.S. embargo against Cuba. In this area, her clients include travel agencies, tour operators, air carriers, exporters, freight forwarders, and non-profit organizations. She provides advice on OFAC's Cuban Assets Control Regulations, assists with compliance programs, seeks OFAC specific licenses and BIS reexport/reexport licenses, advocates regulatory changes, and defends against enforcement and civil penalty matters. She also has obtained government authorizations and waivers for U.S.-Cuba charter flights and for special events, including the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the 1999 Baltimore Orioles-Cuba baseball game in Havana, and the 2012 visit to Cuba by Pope Benedict XVI.
With overlapping practices, Ms. Pera regularly advises aviation clients not only on the DOT and FAA transportation requirements and limitations but also on export controls and transactions restrictions that apply to aircraft operations. These limitations and restrictions can impact an airline's entire operation, from the sale and transportation of passengers and cargo to the storage of supplies and aircraft spare parts. See U.S. Overflight and Air Transportation Restrictions.
Ms. Pera is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association andthe Maryland State Bar Association.
U.S. Restrictions on Overflights and Air Transportation Services - Lonnie A. Pera, 2018.
U.S. Changes Travel and Transportation Requirements to Cuba - Lonnie A. Pera, 2015.
DOT Proposes Charter Broker Regulations - Lonnie A. Pera, 2013.