By a unanimous vote on October 24, the Senate confirmed Michael Whitaker (above) as administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.
[Above photo via the U.S. Senate]
“Whitaker’s overwhelming confirmation demonstrates the Senate’s commitment to getting aviation right,” noted Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), chair of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which oversees the FAA, in a statement.
“There is a lot to do on FAA staffing, technology upgrades, and safety improvements and Whitaker is the right person to lead it,” she added.
Leaders of the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee also congratulated Whitaker on being successfully confirmed to head up the FAA.
“This is a critical time for aviation [and] Whitaker’s confirmation will provide much needed stability and certainty for the agency and the broader aviation industry as a whole,” noted Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), chairman of the House T&I committee, and Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), chairman of the House T&I’s aviation subcommittee, in a statement.
“Having confirmed an FAA Administrator, we hope that the Senate will now return its focus to the critical work of passing a long-term FAA reauthorization bill,” they said.
[Editor’s note: The House passed legislation on September 30 to extend the statutory authorities of the FAA through December 31 as part of a continuing resolution to fund the federal government for 45 days. The measure passed in a 335-91 vote.]
Whitaker brings more than 30 years of aviation experience to FAA from a variety of roles in industry and government, including serving as deputy FAA administrator from 2013 to 2016.