FAA Administrator Marion Blakey called airports “natural resources,” during her speech at AOPA Expo on Thursday. “Once they’re gone, they’re gone,” she said. “And I, for one, think we need to do a better job protecting the framework of our national transportation system.” Blakey specifically credited the AOPA Airport Support Network (ASN) for its efforts in protecting airports, calling the program’s volunteers “an early warning system that really works.” The administrator honored AOPA and Jack Tunstill, its ASN volunteer in St. Petersburg, Florida, for successfully saving Albert Whitted Airport. Blakey also said that she was concerned about another airport access problem where general aviation gets forced out as airports offer fewer and fewer facilities and services, favoring corporate aviation. “I want to assure you that we’re working that issue as well,” she said.