The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) announced yesterday that outgoing FAA administrator Marion Blakey will become the president and CEO of the AIA in November, two months after Blakey leaves the FAA. The AIA announced earlier this year that its current president and CEO, John W. Douglass, would retire at the end of the year; he will remain at the AIA through the end of the year to help ensure a smooth transition. Her role at the FAA didn’t give her an opportunity to talk much on military and civil space issues, although presumably her views are in accordance with the AIA’s board); she did frequent attend and speak at FAA Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) meetings and attended one of the SpaceShipOne X Prize flights in Mojave in 2004, speaking of her interest in and support of the commercial space transportation industry.
(The Washington Post article about her hiring takes a bit of an unfair swipe at her with this passage: “Blakey is the latest of several top administration officials to depart as President Bush’s term winds to a close. Last week, Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove announced that he would leave at the end of the month.” Unlike Rove, Blakey is not resigning; her five-year term as administrator expires next month.)
Speaking of AIA, an AP article this week noted that the organization disclosed it had spent $280,000 on lobbying in the first half of this year. That information comes from a lobbying report the AIA filed earlier this month. Among the items the AIA disclosed it was lobbying for on the civil side were “NASA Subcontractor/Fund” (?), “Funding for NASA”, “Sustainability of the Vision for Space Exploration”, “US/China Space Exploration”, and “Shuttle Launch”. On the military space side, topics included “National Security Space Issues”, “Space Acquisitions”, “Operationally Responsive Space”, and “Military Space Budget”.
[Full disclosure: my employer does work for the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation, but doesn’t work with the office of the FAA administrator.]