Our Litigator of the Week this week is Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison associate Aimee Brown who in her first federal appellate argument led a successful challenge for Spirit Airlines to the way that the Federal Aviation Administration allocated flight authorizations at Newark Liberty International Airport.

 After the FAA announced in 2019 that it would be retiring peak-period flight authorizations at Newark previously held by low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines, Spirit petitioned the D.C. Circuit, claiming the agency’s decision was arbitrary and capricious and violated the Administrative Procedure Act. The agency’s move, Spirit argued, failed to address the competitive effects of bolstering United Airlines’ already dominant share of authorized slots at its primary hub, potentially driving up prices for Newark passengers without making a substantial dent in congestion at the busy airport.