Blakey To Get Top Aviation Award

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The sometimes-controversial former head of the FAA is getting one of aviation's most prestigious awards for her "significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace in the United States." Marion Blakey, who was FAA administrator from 2002 to 2007, will get the National Aeronautic Association's Cliff Henderson Trophy at NAA's final luncheon series meeting in Washington. The award is given annually to a living person whose "vision, leadership or skill" has promoted aviation.

Blakey, who is now CEO of the Aerospace Industry Association, presided over a tumultuous five years as FAA administrator. She proposed changing the funding structure of the FAA to one based on user fees rather than the current aviation fuel tax. She also upset air traffic controllers by imposing work rules on them after contract negotiations failed. Blakey was a strong proponent of the NextGen airspace management system that is in the early stages of implementation.