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: 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?
We Will Go To Congress Against Gulf Carriers, U.S. CEOs Say 
American, Delta and United chiefs say they have other avenues to pursue if the Obama administration does not move quickly on allegations about Etihad, Emirates and Qatar.
Podcast: How Big An Impact Do Crashes Have On Aircraft Programs? 6
In the wake of the Airbus A400M crash, London Bureau Chief Tony Osborne, Military Editor Bill Sweetman and Executive Editor James R. Asker discus the effect of crashes and incidents on early aircraft programs. Among the aircraft discussed are DC-10, A320, A380, F-16, V-22, XB-70, Dark Star and several airships.
Honeywell Offers Voice-Recognition System For Maintenance Procedures and Records 
Headset and computer system tailored to aerospace frees technicians from data entry, speeds work and increases accuracy.
Prime Time For MRO M&A
The maintenance, repair and overhaul sector is ripe for consolidation, and aerospace investors and larger companies considering strategic acquisitions are in hot pursuit of companies in the field, insiders say.
A Sellers’ Market For MROs Considering Merging Or Cashing Out 
“I think you’re going to see a real uptick in interest in the aftermarket,” says Nick Fazioli, the senior vice president of investment banking in aerospace and defense at Jeffries LLC, which consults on mergers and acquisitions (M&A). “It’s an area in need of investment and consolidation.”
Airlines Want MROs To Help More With Data And Predictive Maintenance 1
“We need to be getting away from the ‘no trouble found’ that drives everybody nuts,” says Ahmad Zamany, the vice president of technical operations at Copa Airlines, the Panama-based carrier.
Maintenance Shops With No Parts On Store? 4
Health-monitoring and ‘big data’ could transform maintenance. Airlines are expecting big savings, so MROs better be ready.
Podcast: Talking 777 Upgrades And Bubble Trouble
Aviation Week editors discuss Airbus and Boeing production: Is there an order bubble that may burst one day? They also talk about the 777 upgrade, the possibility of an A380neo and Bombardier’s CSeries.
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

Maintenance Shops With No Parts On Store?
April 17, 2015

Absolutely. A number of speakers at MRO Americas urged repair outfits to get ahead of the curve on additive manufacturing.

Apollo 13 Story Is Still Gripping After 45 Years (1970)
April 17, 2015

SilverHawk is right. I was writing a little too fast in trying to get to the service module event. The launch was "successful" but hardly "uneventful," as I wrote. Indeed, our...

SpaceX Sends Dscovr to L-1; First-stage Landing Attempt Scrubbed
February 12, 2015

The spacecraft began as an Earth-observation satellite that Al Gore proposed and was known as Triana. The solar instruments were added later. By the way, Gore never claimed to...


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