In Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp., No. 14-4193 (3d Cir. Apr. 19, 2016), the Third Circuit addressed the question whether the Federal Aviation Act, the General Aviation Revitalization Act, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations promulgated under those statutes extend to preempt state law product liability claims pertaining to the design and manufacture of aircraft or aircraft parts based on the doctrine of field preemption.  The Third Circuit previously had held that federal law preempts the field of aviation safety, and thus preempted state law claims challenging an airline’s failure to make a loudspeaker announcement warning passengers to fasten seatbelts after turning on the seatbelt safety lights, where a federal regulation merely required the safety light to be turned on.  Based on that ruling, the district court in this case issued summary judgment in favor of the defendant aircraft parts manufacturer on preemption grounds in a product liability case alleging defective design of aircraft parts.  After careful evaluation of the statutes and regulations at issue, the Third Circuit reversed, holding that federal law does not preempt the field of aviation safety insofar as it applies to the design of aircraft parts.  Rather, state product liability law still applies to such claims, subject to traditional principles of conflict preemption.