We tip our hat today to a federal guy who has been an influential figure in aviation. Jeff Shane isn’t retiring, JeffShane.jpg but is going back to private law practice. While some are sceptical of people who make a career that alternates government service with private business practice, Shane proves that Washington’s much derided ‘revolving door’ is more myth than reality. The undersecretary of transportation for policy since March 2003, Jeff served DoT in earlier administrations, and at one point was at the state department as deputy assistant secretary for transportation affairs. He has recently said that he will leave government service sometime in early 2008.

Jeff’s time in government service has been a series of commitments marked by real achievement, while Shane’s time in private legal practice have also been periods of active participation in the aviation community of the nation’s capitol. While at some of the big name law firms of Washington such as Hogan & Hartson, he chaired an American Bar Association forum on air and space law and has served on other international legal bodies. Shane has served at the Departments of State and Transportation in international aviation policy, and his most recent term as the main policy maker for Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta is marked by a major achievement: the breakthrough aviation pact that opens the skies over the North Atlantic. The US/EC deal is undeniably a big deal, and Shane’s role in keeping the US players engaged while restraining the worst meddling impulses of the Congress gives him a legacy of substance.

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