Keith's update: Guess what: this conference will be webcast live after all! In all of my interactions with FAA Commercial Space Transportation Office - as late as Tuesday morning - no one in that office knew about a webcast of this meeting. There is no mention whatsoever made of a webcast on the registration website or at their FAA website. Yet according to the helpful folks at FAA Headquarters Media Relations, this is the link for the two day event: http://weblinkaudiovideo.com/faa-live-webcast.php. The FAA Commercial Space Transportation Office staff need to talk to their own PAO office a little more often - they might learn something.
Keith's original note: The FAA official of Commercial Space Transportation is holding its annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference this week. They will not let media register unless they have a code and they do not respond to inquiries requesting the code. They have also told some media that they are charging full registration fees for media. In addition, the FAA seems to lack the technical capability and/or willingness to webcast this event such that the public can see what they are doing. All it would take is a laptop and a Google+ account and the rest of us could see what they are doing.
This event is an official government event - one that highlights a cornerstone of the Obama Administration's space policy. Yet the FAA goes out of its way to limit the dissemination of what they have accomplished. This approach is self-defeating, not at all in keeping with the Administration's policies regarding transparency and openness, and from a strategic point of view, is just plain stupid.
Keith's earlier update: I am now told that the conference organizer did not stop to think about how media should register. That has now been resolved albeit at the last minute. I already made alternate plans but there will be several folks there covering the event. As for webcasting, it seems like simple, government-sanctioned solutions such as WebEx were not looked at - just expensive outsourced, one-off solutions. If the NASA Advisory Council can figure out how to use WebEx, the so can the FAA.