D. Kirk Shaffer, an attorney who has worked on airport issues, is the Federal Aviation Administration’s new associate administrator for airports. Shaffer started work at FAA on Jan. 8, says Marcia Adams,  a spokesperson for the agency.

Shaffer’s FAA duties include overseeing its Airport Improvement Program, which last year provided about $3.5 billion of grants for runways, taxiways and other infrastructure. AIP and other FAA programs are up for reauthorization this year on Capitol Hill.

Shaffer replaces Woodie Woodward, who retired in December 2005. Since then, Deputy Associate Administrator Catherine Lang has been the airports office’s acting chief.

Shaffer served as outside general counsel, among other duties, for the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority until about 2004, says Lynne Lowrance, the authority’s manager of corporate communications. In Nashville, he worked on environmental, construction and funding issues, including AIP-related matters, FAA’s Adams says.