FAA Nomination Pushed To 2023


Hearings to confirm Phil Washington as the new FAA administrator won’t be held until early in the New Year, according to various reports. The delay times out Washington’s nomination by the Biden administration, but Sen. Maria Cantwell told Reuters she expects him to be renominated and subsequently confirmed. “There wasn’t enough time to meet with him and get him to the floor,” Cantwell said.

Washington’s nomination has come under criticism on a couple of fronts. Other than a year as CEO of Denver International Airport, Washington has no aviation experience. His background is in urban transit and in that role in L.A. he became embroiled in a corruption investigation involving his former boss that included being named in a search warrant. Acting Administrator Billy Nolen has been overseeing a busy time at the FAA since former Administrator Steve Dickson resigned last March to spend more time with his family and is expected to continue as Acting Administrator.

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  1. It’s odd, when AvWeb initially announced this appointment, there was a rash of ill-considered comments, however I reserved judgment and spent some time to research Mr. Washington’s experience and demonstrated skills and then I provided fellow readers an objective, impartial overview of his career, background, and education for other readers to make their own assessment.
    I posted a comment that provided no analysis but simply stated info he’d previously provided in his LinkedIn, or in his CV for previous positions, or in interviews. I made no opinion, or broad generalizations, just the facts that Prof. Google and LexisNexis can give anyone in 20 minutes of work.

    My summary said exactly the same thing as the first two sentences of Russ’ second paragraph, but for some reason I was not allowed to present these facts. Again, I presented no impassioned ill-informed bigoted raging diatribe, I calmly stated the public record facts of his background.

    My post was unceremoniously deleted in 10 minutes. For some reason, when I said the plain facts, it was immediately flagged as uncivil, disrespectful, racist, misogynist, classist, ableist, classism xenophobic, cisgenderism, shadist, sizeist, imperialist, and probably many more -isims.

    Evidently when Russ reads something off the AP wire, objective facts are now allowed to be posted on AvWeb, but when a reader does it months earlier, it’s spewing hate and needs to be purged immediately. Not sure if I’m even allowed to point this out, so this post is also probably not going to be around too long.

    • We cannot comment on a person that has no experience and fails to have the skill set to be an Administrator because it’s a fact. In today’s journalistic world only fiction is fact. AvWeb needs to spend less time judging others opinions and more time researching facts and then reporting them accurately. Otherwise, people will just delete your emails and move on.

      • This is exactly the crap we’re talking about when we nuke comments, Dale. I’m going to leave your comment up so that others can understand our process a little better but basically no name calling, no irrelevant political comment and most of all no baseless claims passed off as fact. Unless you know for fact with evidence you can present that the nomination was based on the factors you cite, you’re just gossiping and not commenting. Cut it out or we’ll block you for good.

  2. “a recently unveiled California search warrant names Washington as part of an alleged scheme in which $816,000 in Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) contracts were awarded to a nonprofit called Peace Over Violence without a competitive bidding process”

  3. It’s amazing that the Biden administration could even consider nominating either of these two for the administrator position. Nolen moved around the industry which begs the question, why? Doesn’t leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling about him. Washington has NO aviation experience. It’s unseemly for him to head the FAA. Like an aircraft carrier captain, who must also be a naval aviator, the head of the FAA needs an intimate knowledge of aviation and it’s many parts. Washington has none of these virtues. Apparently both men have been nominated by this administration because they fit a certain demographic. Not a good plan. Aviation is strictly a meritocracy.

  4. Not to defend or excoriate any past or future FAA administrator, but nowhere in that job description does it say anything about the officeholder flying anything. It’s a management job and it matters not one iota what hardware (if any) is involved. The Administrator is called a “bureaucrat” because s/he runs a “bureau” which could be responsible for literally any aspect of federal government. Experience at the helm of just about any huge, lumbering, budget-constrained governmental organization is all that is really necessary. That’s an entirely different skillset from flying that a million hours of CRM experience won’t provide. The best candidate needs to be a skilled politician (his actual workplace) who’s smart enough to hire and utilize staff who know aviation and how to manage its constituent parts.

  5. What is the worst of all is that the criteria used to make this appointment by this totally woke, PC, politicized administration were and are obvious, well known, and true. But obvious, common sense analyses have to be stifled using the same rules that make these choices so ridiculous.

  6. Russ if you manage to get any more detail on when his Senate confirmation process is scheduled and if there will be public access that would be awesome. Even if it boils down to only monitoring the votes on CSPAN in real-time that would still be awesome. I know, I know, I need a real hobby.