For Immediate Release

May 5, 2005
Contact: Elizabeth Isham Cory
Phone: (847) 294-7849

Chicago, IL — FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey today announced that Cecelia Hunziker, FAA Regional Administrator for the Great Lakes Region, will retire effective April 30. Blakey also announced that Christopher R. Blum, currently FAA Regional Administrator for the Central Region, will assume regional administration duties for both Great Lakes and Central regions effective May 1.

“The Great Lakes region has benefited greatly under Cecelia’s tenure and several significant regional programs such as the O’Hare Modernization Program and the first runway built under the Operational Evolution Plan in Detroit have moved forward under her deft leadership,” said Blakey. “With Chris serving dual roles, we can ensure that the FAA’s important work in America’s heartland doesn’t skip a beat. We are lucky to have someone of his experience who can foster synergy and efficiencies between the two regions.”

As FAA Regional Administrator, Blum serves as the principal agency representative in both the Great Lakes and Central regions with industry, the public, and various governmental bodies. He will direct a variety of FAA regional programs that are essential to the overall mission of the agency to regulate safety and operate the nation’s aviation system. Together, the Great Lakes and Central Regions encompass 12 states: OH, MI, IN, WI, IL, MN, ND, SD, IA, KS, MO, NE.

Blum’s FAA career has spanned 35 years and, he has been the FAA Central Regional Administrator since 2001. Blum also serves as the agency’s liaison to the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO). Prior to 2001, he served as Air Traffic Division Manager for the Great Lakes region.

Hunziker’s career has been marked by more than 34 years of service in three FAA regions and FAA Headquarters. Her career highlights include the completion of the FAA’s first Operational Evolution Plan runway (Detroit), and her work on the O’Hare Modernization Program.

Hunziker’s awards include the DOT Secretary’s Gold Medal Award for Outstanding Achievement and the Thirty-First Annual DOT Secretary’s Award of

Diversity (1998). In 2001, she was awarded the DOT Secretary’s Award for Meritorious Achievement.

Blum will remain based in Kansas City, MO and will divide his time between that location and the FAA’s Great Lakes regional offices in Des Plaines, IL.