Getting settled back in after a month in which I only slept in my own bed four times. A few random thoughts:
Thanks to all of you who had such a nice reaction to the post about my father-in-law. I really appreciate it.
The White House has announced the appointment of Randy Babbitt to head the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). I have known Randy for many years. He is smart, dedicated and is the kind of person who engenders trust and brings out the best in people. It is a great appointment and I look forward to working with him in this new role.
I understand his confirmation may not occur till next month some time. Hopefully it can be done more quickly than that. We need him in place, and then we need Congress to pass a long term FAA reauthorization bill.
The day I left for Greece, I began the day at a press event with Jim May of the Air Transport Association and Bill DeCota, the Aviation Director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. We discussed the importance of finally modernizing air traffic control, an effort also known as NextGen. Bill eloquently talked about the need to update air traffic control, while also providing needed infrastructure on the ground. Later that day, Bill gave a speech at the Aero Club of Washington on this topic. I have worked on air traffic control for many years and the effort needs a spokesman like Bill.
When we flew to Greece, we had a one hour layover in Paris, at Charles de Gaulle Airport. Knowing how big the place is, I was worried, but the transfer went very smoothly. Passport control and security worked very well, and we made the flight with time to spare.
On the way home, we had a 90-minute layover, so I was less worried. Turns out, I should have been. There was a large crowd at passport control. Once through that, we had to pass through security. This time, it was like a Saturday Night Live skit lampooning security. Very frustrating. Still made the flight, but I was glad to have the extra 30 minutes. Some people think the person in my position does not have to go through all the same hassles, but I do. It is not fun.
The Air France counter personnel and cabin crews were great on all flights.
I’ve already written about Greece, but when asked about the difference between this trip and the one I made 35 years ago, when I was in high school: All the old stuff is the same, everything else is totally different. It is a great place to visit and I highly recommend it. An often overlooked treasure: the town of Nafplio. We drove there on Sunday and it was well worth the trip. Google it and check it out.