Laura Ponto

Laura Ponto

Washington, D.C.

Email laura.ponto@​

Phone +1 202 637 6460

Fax +1 202 637 5910


Practice groupGlobal Regulatory

Laura Ponto is a highly skilled litigator and regulatory lawyer with vast experience in the transportation sector.

Laura has a unique combination of experience that aviation clients find particularly valuable, having served in key roles within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Congress, and the private sector.

She began her career in the DOT Office of General Counsel, where she worked on high-profile litigation, congressional inquiries, and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigations across all modes of transportation. Laura then spent more than a decade in the FAA Office of Chief Counsel. During that time, she routinely represented the agency in hearings before Congress and the NTSB. She oversaw countless investigations, prosecuted hundreds of cases involving violations of DOT and FAA regulations, and defended the agency in complex litigation. Laura was appointed Special Assistant U.S. Attorney and routinely appeared in federal court and before the U.S. Court of Appeals. She has an unbroken record of success at trial.

Laura became a trusted adviser to the White House, U.S. Senate, and Congress on issues related to transportation policy, safety, and security. She ultimately served as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, where she advised senior members of Congress and drafted and negotiated key legislation. She has led the way in addressing some of the most challenging issues in transportation today, including the integration of rapidly evolving technology in a traditional regulatory framework.

Most recently, as an executive at Google X, Laura led aviation regulatory and public policy work around the globe. Her business-focused advice and strategic approach were key to establishing Wing Aviation, which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Alphabet.

Awards and recognitions


Transport: Aviation and Air Travel (Regulation)
Legal 500 US


Government: Government Relations
Legal 500 US


Seymour Mintz Excellence Award

Education and admissions


J.D., Florida State University College of Law, magna cum laude, 2006

M.A., San Diego State University, summa cum laude, 2003

B.A., Minnesota State University Moorhead, magna cum laude, 1999


Member, American Bar Association

Chair, OECD International Transport Forum Working Group: Drones in the Transport System

Member, Aero Club of Washington

Former Chair, Commercial Drone Alliance

Former Board Member, Small UAV Coalition

Bar admissions and qualifications

District of Columbia


Court admissions

U.S. District Court, District of Columbia

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

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