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: Match Made in Space -- New Companies and Traditional Giants
Major developments in Commercial Crew and rocket engines are the subject of this week’s podcast.
Harold Rosen Clinches A Lifetime Achievement Award 

The aerospace industry is replete with innovators, but occasionally there comes someone whose ideas and accomplishments make the term “innovator” seem not broad enough. Harold Rosen is that sort of innovator.

A team led by Rosen produced breakthroughs that kick-started an entire sector of the aerospace industry. That sector remains the most important commercial application of space technology. More than anyone, Rosen deserves to be called the father of the communications satellite.

U.S. Airlines See Improved Profits, But Fuel Hikes May Spell Trouble 

A 5% drop in fuel expenses enabled the U.S. airline industry to turn a modest profit in the first half of 2013, but a recent rise in jet fuel prices may not portend well for the coming months.

The 10 largest publicly traded U.S. airlines posted a combined net profit of $1.6 billion in the first half of 2013 on revenue of $72.8 billion, up from a $1.2 billion profit during the first six months of 2012. Net margins were 2.1%, compared with 1.6% in the first half of last year.

Quietly – Or Not – Embraer Has Become A 'Player'
When Brazilian airframer Embraer laid out a plan to fully expand into business aviation in 2005, the company had plans to become a “major player within 10” years. Eight years later, Ernest “Ernie” Edwards is pleased. (Legacy 600 photo: Embraer)
Embraer On Track For 2013 First Flight Of Legacy 450 

Embraer, accruing more than 150 hr. on its Legacy 500 midsize jet, hopes to have the smaller 450 join the flight test program by year’s end.

The company cut metal on the 450 light-mid aircraft in August and expects to finish the wing next month with the fuselage sections joining in July. This would put the 450 on pace for first flight sometime in the second half of 2013, about a year after the 500 first flew.

Cost-Benefit Case Lags Funding For NextGen Equipage
Though more than $1 billion in government-backed loans for FAA NextGen avionics could soon be available, airlines remain cautious about investing in the technologies even as the first milestone—equipping with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B)—approaches.
Embraer On Track For 2013 Flight Of 450
Embraer, accruing more than 150 hr. on its Legacy 500 midsize jet, hopes to have the smaller 450 join the flight test program by year’s end.
U.S. Coast Guard Rescuers Are Heroism Laureates 

A highlight of Aviation Week's Laureates gala is always the presentation of the award for heroism. This year, the recipients were the personnel of U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., who rescued seafarers of the HMS Bounty caught in Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

GAO: Coast Guard Programs Do Not Reflect Actual Costs 

Pity the Coast Guard. Tasked with a nearly impossible set of missions— the nation's fifth armed service is the principal agency responsible for maritime safety, security and environmental stewardship—it has never benefited from the budget largesse showered on its counterparts in the Defense Department after 9/11.

Harris Wins NextGen’s DataComm Work 

A frequent critic of the FAA's progress on the $40 billion NextGen air traffic management (ATM) modernization program, Government Accountability Office (GAO) infrastructure guru Gerald Dillingham tells an industry gathering in Atlantic City, N.J., that the FAA needs to show some “little victories,” if it ever hopes to get airlines off the dime to invest in avionics to make NextGen work. As in response, the FAA came through with a bit more just two days later. It signed, sealed and delivered a $331 million contract to Florida's Harris Corp.

Bill Offered To Distance NASA From White House 

Aiming to remove politics from space policy—and attempting to get the attention of the presidential campaigns all but mute on space—some House Republicans introduce a bill that would overhaul the way NASA is funded and overseen.

Democrats Eye Plan To Delay Sequestration 

While most of Washington is growing more and more pessimistic about the potential for Congress to avoid a nearly $1 trillion across-the-board federal cut, discussions about a possible deal are beginning to take shape. Then again, a $4 trillion deal on deficit reduction is still a long way off, and how that would play out is highly dependent on the results of the November election.

For Armstrong, The Drama Went Far Beyond Apollo 

If Neil Armstrong had written his own obituary, he likely would have said he had been a test pilot, an engineer, an educator and one of the 400,000 Americans who helped land the first humans on the Moon. Less important to him was the combination of experience and lucky career choices that placed him as the first person to reach the surface of a body beyond Earth.

NSA Chief: New Law Needed To Counter Cyber Threats 

As the U.S. moves to strengthen defenses of digital networks and assets, agreeing on standards for cybersecurity will prove more difficult than reaching a consensus on privacy and information sharing, the head of the U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency (NSA) believes.

NSA Chief: New Law Needed To Counter Cyber Threats 
WASHINGTON - U.S. Army Gen. Keith Alexander says passing new legislation is essential, as the threat is growing, with the real possibility that intrusions of networks will move from “disruptive [to] destructive."
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