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Sean McGowan


Washington, D.C.
202 585 6976 direct

With 25 years of experience in the transportation industry, Sean helps his clients navigate through and maintain compliance with the complex web of federal regulations affecting aviation, rail, trucking, maritime and export operations. He is co-chair of the firm's UAS (Drone) Practice Group.

Sean also counsels clients on U.S. federal regulatory compliance issues associated with the exportation of controlled products, technology and associated services and advises clients on the movement of hazardous materials by all modes of transport. He practices before a variety of federal regulatory agencies, including the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the Department of Commerce (DOC) regarding Export Administration Regulations (EAR) matters, the Department of State regarding International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) matters, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).


Episode 6: Drone photographer Justin Barr of @STL_From_Above

Episode 5: Andrew Elefant of Kittyhawk

Episode 4: Public and government use of drones

Episode 3: Commercial UAS basics

Episode 2: Tips for first-time drone operators

Episode 1: Drone disruptions at airports and public spaces

Thompson Coburn Publications

FAA announces remote identification proposed rule for drones

Trade Compliance Handbook

Checklists of Foreign Countries Subject to Sanctions

FAA announces new drone rule requiring visible UAS registration number

Update on academic use of drones

Micro UAS Committee charts bold new course for FAA treatment of smaller unmanned aircraft

Drone technology: The regulatory outlook

Anti-drone technologies: The regulation challenge

Senate committee examines unmanned aircraft system safety, privacy concerns

And on that farm he had a drone: UAS deployment in precision agriculture

Small Business Committee holds hearing to explore commercial drone operations

FAA grants exemption for large crop-spraying unmanned aircraft

Section 333 at 200 days: Where are we now?

Amazon Prime Air closer to takeoff: FAA grants Internet giant's request for drone ‘exemption’ and experimental certificate

Small UAS comment countdown begins: FAA publishes notice of proposed rulemaking

Final approach: FAA announces long-awaited small UAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Florida drone bill a reminder to UAS operators: Know all the rules before you fly

Final rules for international trade data highlight issues for routed export transaction

FAA settles trail-blazing drone case for $1,100

UAS hearing yields details on systems research and development, but no timeline for small UAS rule

More boots on the ground: FAA provides law enforcement guidance for suspected unauthorized UAS operation

'Tis the season: FAA launches safety campaign for unmanned aircraft

Unmanned aircraft systems are 'aircraft' once again: National Transportation Safety Board reverses administrative law judge on key definition

Shipping hazmats by air? Follow the rules or pay the price: FAA imposes substantial penalties for hazardous materials violations

International trade compliance: 6 basic products questions a company should answer

BIS releases final rule implementing STA license exception


Ag and drones – What do you need to know?

FAA provides clearer skies for educational use of drones

Drones on campus: What higher ed needs to know


"Trade Compliance Handbook";
updated March 2017

"Checklists of Foreign Countries Subject to Sanctions";
updated March 2017

"Shippers, are you ready for SOLAS’ verified container weight mandate?";
April 2016


"It's A Bird? It's A Plane? It's A Drone!: Unmanned Aircraft on Campus";
NACUA virtual seminar November 2015

"International Trade Law: Export Control Reform: What Does It Mean or Not Mean For Your ITAR and/or EAR Exports";
September 2013