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Senate committee to consider new FAA chief on FridaySenate committee to consider new FAA chief on Friday

FAA Administrator Jane Garvey walks out the door this Sunday. And that's when her successor, current NTSB Chairman Marion C. Blakey, is supposed to start. So will it really happen?

Things are on the fast track. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a confirmation hearing this Friday at 10 a.m. That's step one.

"It's imperative that the Senate act quickly," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "The FAA must not be allowed to drift without an administrator."

Blakey is not expected to encounter any difficulty with the Commerce Committee. It could forward her nomination to the full Senate on Friday. That's step two.

But the Senate leaves Washington on Saturday for its traditional August recess. It won't be back until September 9.

"It's technically possible for the Senate to confirm Blakey before the recess," said Julia Krauss, AOPA vice president of legislative affairs, "but it will be a toss-up because the Senate has a packed agenda."

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