The Senate confirmed White House nominee Michael Whitaker as the new FAA Administrator in a vote Tuesday. Whitaker seemed to breeze through the confirmation process, which was without the rancor and finger-pointing that marked the grueling questioning that previous nominee Phil Washington endured. Washington withdrew when it became obvious he didn’t have the votes to succeed.
Aviation groups were quick to endorse the appointment. Industry reaction to these appointments is always polite and includes pledges to work cooperatively with the new person, but the alphabets seem positively enthusiastic about Whitaker becoming the new boss. AOPA President Mark Baker said Whitaker ticks all the boxes. “I am really pleased the Senate took action to confirm Mike and look forward to working with him to help pilots and to move GA forward,” Baker said. “He’s a capable leader, knows aviation, knows the agency, and he’s a private pilot.”
Many current aviation leaders know Whitaker from his three-year stint as deputy administrator of the agency and chief NextGen officer. He’s also worked in the industry with airlines, and most recently he worked for Hyundai eVTOL developer Supernal. NBAA President Ed Bolen called the appointment “well deserved” and said “his expertise will help chart a clear path toward a successful future for the aviation community.”