Former Rep. Ray Lahood, R-Ill., has been confirmed as Department of Transportation Secretary by the Senate.
Because LaHood’s new job will include dealing out huge sums of taxpayers’ money in support of President Obama’s proposed stimulus plan, LaHood – whose confirmation came through Jan. 22 – already is being lobbied by many, if not all, of the aviation advocacy groups. LaHood called his appointment “the capstone” of his public service career, an interesting choice of words considering that he will influence implementation of ADS-B in the lower 48, which was called Capstone during its test stage in Alaska.
LaHood “has adamantly opposed user fees,” according to an AOPA news release expressing hope that he will continue to do so. AOPA is one of the aviation groups that have begun pressing the new president to make modernization of the national airspace system – specifically air traffic control and ADS-B – part of his economic stimulus plan.