FAA Player Roster

By Baselinemag Print this article Print

Key players inside and outside the Federal Aviation Administration who are helping to shape the agency's technological future.

Inside the Agency

Jane F. Garvey
Role: Since she was sworn into office in August 1997, Garvey's most significant course change at the 49,000-person agency has been to try to establish collaborative decision-making, involving unions, controllers and system maintenance personnel. Previously, she was the director of Logan Airport and deputy administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.

Steven Zaidman
Associate Administrator for Research and Acquisitions
Role: Zaidman's organization has prime responsibility for designing upgrades to the National Airspace System and for selecting products and services to further that goal. Zaidman joined the FAA in 1974 from the U.S. Navy. He was named to his current post in July 1998.

Charlie Keegan
Director, Operational Evolutionary Plan
Role: A 22-year FAA veteran and former air traffic controller, Keegan was the founding director of the FAA's systems development office known as Free Flight in 1998, and last year was named director of the FAA's master plan for the introduction of new technologies, the Operational Evolutionary Plan.

John F. Thornton
Director, Free Flight
Role: It's Thornton's job to make sure the Free Flight program delivers systems that controllers will accept as an improvement, while also delivering tangible benefits for the airlines and the flying public. He is a former controller who was fired during the PATCO strike.

Bill Voss
Director, Terminal Business Service
Role: Voss runs the FAA unit overseeing the development and, now, deployment of the Standard Terminal Replacement System (STARS) to the radar facilities that handle airplane arrivals and departures. Before he was appointed to that post in June 2001, he ran the FAA's air traffic systems development organization.

Outside the Agency

Diane DeSua
Director of URET CCLD Program, Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management
Role: DeSua oversees the project that gave controllers a better tool for rerouting planes in flight. She holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon and George Washington universities; joined Lockheed in 1978 and has held several management positions in software development.

Frank S. Marchilena
Executive VP, Raytheon, and president of the Command, Control, Communication, and IS division
Role: As head of the Raytheon unit that makes the STARS system and has been modifying it for FAA use, Marchilena has been obliged to testify before Congress at hearings on the progress of the project. Although changes to the system requested by controllers knocked STARS off schedule, he maintains Raytheon has done a good job of modifying software and gearing up for full deployment.

Agam N. Sinha
Vice President, Mitre Center for Advanced Aviation Systems Development
Role: As an executive of this federally funded research lab, Sinha has worked on FAA and international projects dealing with the evolution of air traffic management, communications, navigation, and surveillance systems. He also acted as a mediator between the FAA and its unions during negotiations over changes the unions wanted made to Raytheon's STARS air traffic control system.

Bill Blackmer
Safety and technology director, National Air Traffic Control Association
Role: In his post since1998, Blackmer fights to ensure controllers have a say in the design of new air traffic computer systems. While he has complaints, he gives Garvey credit for getting controllers more involved in the process. Blackmer got his start as a U.S. Army air traffic controller in 1982 and worked for the FAA in the mid-'80s.

George L. Donohue
Professor, George Mason University
Role: Donohue previously served as the assistant administrator for research and acquisitions at the FAA, where he was known for his efforts to reform the acquisitions system. Donohue oversaw the selection of the STARS system.

To protect roster members' privacy, their e-mail addresses are omitted. Inquiries or comments directed at these individuals should be sent to Baseline@ziffdavis.com. They will be forwarded.

This article was originally published on 2002-04-08
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