Blakey steps into big shoes: Garvey, who is not only the first woman ever to run the FAA but also the first to fill the post for its new, five-year term, has done an exceptional job in working with the airlines and the general aviation community on safety and technological innovation. She also brought organization and analysis to the FAA that allows the agency to spot potential problems before they develop into safety issues. Garvey has also kept a lid on the sometimes petty requests that come from Capitol Hill and she's even transformed some Congressmen into actual promoters of the FAA. Most important, Garvey leaves Blakey with some of the best deputies the FAA has seen in years, including Nicholas Sabatini, who heads the crucial department that issues safety rules and regulations.
That's not to say Blakey won't have challenges ahead: many aviation safety experts are concerned that the current emphasis on security will lead to a let down in the vigilance and spending that is necessary to keep the U.S. system the world's safest.