Photo of Gary A. Michel


J.D., American University Washington College of Law

A.B., Hunter College

Bar and Court Admissions

District of Columbia Bar

Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Gary A. Michel

Consulting Counsel

Gary serves as consulting counsel to Wiley Rein LLP. He has more than 30 years’ experience at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), most recently serving as the Attorney-Manager for the Airworthiness, Advanced Aircraft and Unmanned Aircraft Law Branch in the Office of Chief Counsel, Regulations Division. He has been a key player in the FAA’s unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) rule-making efforts and was the leading FAA regulations attorney working on the UAS airworthiness matters until 2013.

Representative Experience

  • UAS Experience:
    • Advises clients on developing legal strategies for the deployment of UAS into commercial and other operations.
    • Collaborates with UAS manufacturers and operators to promote lawful operation of UAS in the National Airspace System.
    • Staff attorney, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), Federal Aviation Administration.
    • Attorney, UAS ARC II, Federal Aviation Administration.
    • FAA team attorney, sUAS NPRM and all prior UAS rule-making efforts.
  • Advised on the FAA aircraft type and airworthiness certification laws, regulations, and procedures.
  • Advised on the FAA aircraft design, production, maintenance and continuous airworthiness laws, regulations, and procedures.

Professional Experience

  • Federal Aviation Administration, Office of the Chief Counsel, Regulations Division (1979-2013)
    • Attorney-Manager, Airworthiness, Advanced Aircraft and Unmanned Aircraft Law Branch (AGC-210) (2005-2013)
    • Attorney-Manager, Advanced Aircraft and Commercial Space Law Branch (AGC-250) (1996-2005)
    • Senior Attorney, Airworthiness and Maintenance Law (AGC-200) (1992-1996)
    • Attorney-Manager, Airworthiness and Maintenance Law (AGC-210) (1982-1992)
    • Staff Attorney, Airworthiness and Maintenance Law (AGC-210) (1979-1982)
  • Trial Attorney, Interstate Commerce Commission, Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement (1977-1979)
  • Assistant Corporation Counsel, City of the District of Columbia, Office of Corporation Counsel (1972-1977)
  • District of Columbia Air National Guard (1969-1975)
  • Legal Assistant, National Transportation Safety Board, Washington, DC Headquarters, Office of the General Counsel (1968-1972)


  • Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)
  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)
  • Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)
  • Fort Meade Flying Activity
  • President, International Plastic Modeling Society, DC Chapter (2008-Present)