James R. Asker

James R. Asker
Executive Editor,
Aviation Week & Space Technology

Jim has covered aerospace for more than 20 years and won numerous awards for his reporting and commentary.


He directed Aviation Week's coverage of the Columbia space shuttle accident, which was recognized with a 2004 Jesse H. Neal Award, the trade press equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, and was finalist in 2005 and 2012. And in 2006, Jim won Journalist of the Year honors from the Royal Aeronautical Society and has twice won a McGraw-Hill Corporate Achievement Award.


Jim began covering space programs as a science reporter for The Houston Post, where he led the paper's prize-winning coverage of the Challenger shuttle accident and its aftermath and was a finalist in NASA’s Journalist In Space program. Jim is a graduate of Rice University and was a Knight Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT and Harvard, his studies included arms control, the Soviet military and U.S. defense planning and budgeting.

Podcast: The Silicon Valley-Aerospace Mating Dance
After years of shunning aerospace as too slow and too expensive, venture capitalists are suddenly interested—and investing. Meanwhile, big aerospace corporations and the U.S. Defense Department are looking to bring “disruptive” commercial thinking in house. Executive Editor Jim Asker, Senior Business Editor Michael Bruno and Graham Warwick, the managing editor for technology, discuss whether the two cultures can ever mix.
Podcast: Pilot Mental Health 10
The mental health of pilots and the privacy of their records and consultations with doctors is back in the news following the report by French air safety investigators on the crash of a Germanwings A320 in the Alps last year. Jim Asker, Jens Flottau and John Croft discuss the issues and what might be done to prevent such tragedies.
Podcast: Next Stop, Cuba
The race for routes to Cuba by U.S. carriers is on. Will there be enough demand for flights to cities other than Havana? Is Cuba ready for a rapid increase in tourism? Join our editors as they discuss the possibilities for this new market.
McCain’s Russian Engine Offensive | 757 Fuel Tanks  18
The Arizona senator accuses United Launch Alliance of “manipulative extortion” on RD-180 engines; cargo carriers fight FAA fuel tank AD; NASA ponders how to use funding windfall; U.S. nuclear weapons seem here to stay.
Podcast: Air Safety Innovations 2
Aviation is, by and large, an incredibly safe mode of transportation. But it wasn’t always so, and there are challenges coming soon. Join Editors Jim Asker, John Croft and Bill Sweetman as they discuss the history and future of aviation safety and read the special report.
Podcast: Next-generation Flight Tools
Virtual reality. Crowd-sourcing weather data. Co-pilots on the ground. Changes are coming to flight operations, maintenance and training. Executive Editor Jim Asker and Avionics and Safety Editor John Croft discuss the next-generation hardware and new techniques that will boost safety and save money.
Podcast: Why Delta’s CEO Is Our Person Of The Year
How does Aviation Week determine who is its Person of the Year? Hint: it should not be seen as an award. Join top editors as they discuss the process and why this year’s choice is Richard Anderson, the CEO of Delta Air Lines.
Ex-Im Bank Reopens | Space Wars  1
The U.S. export credit agency is back but needs a board of directors. Meanwhile, the fight continues over Russian RD-180 rocket engines.
Podcast: Why Don't Airplanes Go Faster? 4
Do we still have a need for speed? Join Aviation Week as we discuss the history and technology of speed and whether, moving into the future, supersonic aircraft are economically feasible.
Podcast: Metrojet Flight 9268 Crash
Avionics and Safety Editor John Croft, Managing Editor for Transport Jens Flottau and Executive Editor Jim Asker discuss the safety and security implications of the crash of the Russian charter carrier’s A321.
Podcast: Cockpits of the Future 2
What if commercial pilots never had to learn to fly IFR? The distinction between instrument flight rules and visual flight rules (VFR) may go away in the not-too-distant future. What if the Black Hawk successor offered military pilots a 360-degree, all-weather view on a touch screen that could easily be reconfigured? These are the sort of things we might see in next-gen cockpits. Join Aviation Week editors Jim Asker, John Croft and Graham Warwick in peering into the future.
MH17 Missile Confirmed; Market Meddling At Airports; Cabotage Allowed  1
Senator decries added airline fees; geometry helps figure out Ukrainian plane downing; FAA investigates Love Field; and a special exception in American Samoa
Podcast: Warren Buffett, Google And The Future Of Aerospace
Berkshire Hathaway’s bid to acquire Precision Castparts and Google’s restructuring are among the developments discussed by Aviation Week's editors.
Podcast: Are Big U.S. Airlines Colluding To Keep Prices High? 2
Federal officials are investigating American, United, Delta and Southwest airlines to determine if they are coordinating efforts to keep capacity down so that ticket prices remain high. If they are found in violation of antitrust laws, they could face huge fines.
Podcast: Flyby At Pluto Approaching Fast
What will happen when New Horizons hurtles past the icy dwarf planet and its five moons on July 14?
Editorial: SpaceX, Artificial Intelligence And The Innovation Imperative
December 29, 2015

Good point, Joe. Nobody has reused a space launcher yet (other than NASA with the sorta-reusable, extremely expensive space shuttle system). Maybe we should have said the age...

Person Of The Year: Delta Air Lines’ Richard Anderson
December 21, 2015

Thanks. We'll fix those.

--Jim Asker
Executive Editor

Opinion: A New Bomber For $550 Million? Not Likely
November 13, 2015

Bill and I will have to have an inside-Av Week food fight on this point. Here we go:

Of course, the cost per copy of B-2 went up because the buy was cut. But, Bill,...

An Appreciation: Pierre Sparaco—1940-2015
August 17, 2015

Thanks for that input! Like many of us in journalism, Pierre started dabbling in the craft before he figured out how to make a living doing it. And making that work takes...

Remembering Pierre Sparaco
August 3, 2015

Aerospace will never have a more knowledgeable and charitable critic than Pierre Sparaco. It was a privilege to work with him and have him as a friend.

Jim Asker


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