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E. (Ted) Tazewell Ellett

Senior Counsel
Washington, D.C.

E. (Ted) Tazewell Ellett

With deep roots in the Washington D.C. aviation community, Ted Ellett provides clients with studied insight into the thinking and inner workings of the critical federal aviation agencies. Ted has been advising clients for decades on their most complex FAA regulatory and policy issues.

As a former FAA Chief Counsel and Special Counsel to the Administrator, Ted co-founded the firm's Aviation Group. He also is a member of the firm's Global Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) (drones) practice, which he also co-founded. He uses his background from senior-level positions at the FAA and decades of client problem-solving at all levels of the FAA to resolve clients' critical FAA challenges.

Ted has been an industry leader in crafting regulatory constructs for innovative aviation business concepts, operations, and technologies. Aviation innovations as diverse as aircraft fractional ownership, airport privatization, commercial zero-gravity flight operations, and UAS all have benefitted from Ted's creative, business-focused legal counsel.

"He has deep experience in DOT and FAA matters, and is praised as an 'excellent communicator' who is 'extremely knowledgeable in the law.'"

Chambers USA

Representative experience

Assisted Google in the preparation and filing of a UAS Section 333 petition for exemption with the FAA.

Advised and represented Aerion Corporation on airworthiness and noise certification matters related to its AS2 supersonic business jet.

Assisted Union Pacific Railroad in the preparation and filing of its UAS Section 333 petition for exemption with the FAA.

Advised Topcon Positioning Systems on UAS regulatory matters, including the preparation and filing of its Section 333 petition for exemption.

Education and admissions


  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1977
  • B.A., Davidson College, 1974


  • Chair, UAS Subcommittee of the National Business Aviation Association Regulatory Issues Advisory Group
  • Former Chairman, Federal Bar Association's Transportation Law Section and the Virginia Bar Association's Transportation Law Section
  • Former General Counsel, Airport Consultants Council
  • Former Member, Aviation Advisory Board, USC
  • Former Member, Board of Governors, Aero Club of Washington
  • Founding Member, National Transportation Safety Board Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, American Counsel Association
  • Member, Bar Association of D.C.
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, International Aviation Club
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, International Society of Air Safety Investigators
  • Member, Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association
  • Past President, Aero Club of Washington
  • Past President, Virginia Bar Association

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia

Court admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court


Transportation: Aviation: Regulatory (Nationwide)

Chambers USA


Transport: Aviation and Air Travel

Legal 500 US


Transport: Aviation Regulatory

Who's Who Legal


Transportation: Aviation: Regulatory & Litigation (Nationwide)

Chambers USA

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