In the absence of controlling legislation at the local, state, or federal level, the law of aviation is no more than a localized application of general common-law principles. Accordingly, various contracts relating to aviation are governed by the rules and requirements pertinent to such agreements generally.
However, the federal government plays an important role in many aspects of the aviation industry. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 provides in detail for the regulation and control of aviation in the United States. Under this Act, any conveyance that affects the title to, or any interest in, any civil aircraft of the United States must be acknowledged and recorded with the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration in the manner prescribed by statute. After such an instrument is recorded, it is valid as to all persons without recording and regardless of notice.
As with any lease of personal property, an agreement to lease an aircraft must comply with all of the requisites, duties, liabilities, and obligations of the respective parties.Of particular importance in an aircraft lease are provisions concerning any limitations on the use of the aircraft and liability for loss and damage to or caused by the aircraft.