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This Article examines in some detail the practice and experience of one agency, the Federal Aviation Administration, and more particularly its Aircraft Certification Service, that has of recent years consciously engaged in forms of concerted activity with certain counterpart agencies abroad. This "case study" is of particular interest because the FAA's practice of intergovernmentalism includes, but also goes beyond, cooperation in rulemaking to embrace a certain amount of cooperation in more routine aspects of administration. The study may also be of interest because the intergovernmentalism engaged in largely involves cooperation with a body – the European Joint Aviation Authorities – that is itself an illustration of highly concerted regulatory activity among the component European states, and therefore a model of sorts that may or may not be appropriate for consideration by American agencies acting in certain domains.

This Article is largely descriptive of the FAA's interaction with counterpart agencies and of the respects in which that interaction has been thought to facilitate the agency's task and to improve its performance of functions. However, the Article will also call attention to certain difficulties and complications that the process has generated, and on occasion point out what might loosely be called lessons learned. Lastly, and appropriately for what was originally an Administrative Conference study, it briefly considers the legal constraints, if any, on the kind of intergovernmentalism that the FAA practices and that other agencies may have an interest in practicing.


Administrative Law | Air and Space Law | Law