Tue, May 06, 2008
Longtime Politicos Prove Very Effective For Their Cause(s)
It pays to know people in high places. Last week, Congressional
watchdog newspaper The Hill recognized two heavy-hitters within the
US aviation industry among its list of the 50 most influential
lobbyists for business interests.
Former FAA Administrator Marion Blakey was named to the list,
for her work as chief of the Aerospace Industries Association. As ANN reported, Blakey was
named AIA's President and CEO in August, three weeks before her
tenure as head of the FAA came to an end. The trade association
represents the nation's manufacturers of aerospace equipment.
"The former FAA administrator took the helm of the powerful
association last year and is already making an impression," the
paper notes. Before her tenure at the FAA, Blakey was appointed to
a string of other government positions, including Chairman of
the National Transportation Safety Board and as Administrator of
the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety
Several government watchdog groups
and politicians took Blakey to task for her move to a lobbying
group, questioning the ethical implications of Blakey's move from
FAA Administrator, to accepting the top post at an organization
impacted by her decisions while at the FAA. As ANN noted at the time,
however... at least she wasn't going to work for an airline.
No, that's the job of the second aviation-minded individual
named to The Hill's list: Air Transport Association CEO James May.
"The longtime Washington insider is lobbying for airlines that want
the costs of running the air traffic control system to be shifted
to business jets," according to The Hill.
Despite their different titles, Blakey and
May were often of one mind during the fight over FAA
reauthorization, in calling for broad user fees against
operators of small aircraft to pay for air traffic control services
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