Senate Confirms Chao As New Secretary Of Transportation

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Elaine Chao was easily confirmed by the United States Senate on Tuesday as the 18th Secretary of Transportation by a vote of 93-6. Chao is expected to support efforts to privatize the delivery of U.S. air traffic control services, though she did not share her opinions on privatization formally during the confirmation process. A privatized air traffic control system would likely be funded by user fees, which are popular with airlines but have stirred opposition from the general aviation community. In a recent earnings call, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly was cautiously optimistic about Secretary Chao and the new administration: “We're very enthused about her nomination. I don't know that it's clear exactly what the administration's focus will be in aviation. I think there's broad desire to roll back regulations, but I don't know that we know of anything that is specific.”

Ms. Chao previously served as the Secretary of Labor from 2001-2009 under President George W. Bush and is married to Mitch McConnell, the senior U.S. Senator from Kentucky and current Senate Majority Leader. Ms. Chao immigrated to the United States at the age of eight speaking no English with her parents, who were refugees of the Chinese Civil War.

Comments (2)

This is really bad news. This lady is bad for the small airplane owners.

Posted by: Michael Kenslow | February 2, 2017 1:04 PM    Report this comment

Billing for ATC services will be made simple with the required ADS-B now tracking your every move. I don't see a bright future for GA under the prevailing and future cost structures that will come down the pike with ADS-B forced down our throat and ATC privatization.

Posted by: Hans M | February 3, 2017 1:29 PM    Report this comment

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