Huerta Nominated To Head FAA
President Obama has nominated Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to take the position for a five-year term. Huerta was elevated to the post from deputy administrator in December after former FAA boss Randy Babbitt was arrested for drunk driving and resigned the post. Huerta must be confirmed by the Senate before getting the job but analysts don't seem to view that as an issue. Indeed, Huerta, whose background is in transportation but not specifically aviation, has kept a fairly low profile since taking over. Leaders of various aviation groups have been congratulatory if not laudatory in their reaction.
AOPA President Craig Fuller said he "appreciated the attention [Huerta] has given to the concerns of general aviation" and said he looked forward to a "constructive and productive working relationship" with him. Aircraft Electronics Association President Paula Derks said she was surprised at how quickly Obama made the nomination but was happy he did. "There are too many challenging issues in the immediate future, including NextGen implementation and the UAV mandate in 2015, to delay appointing a permanent administrator to lead the agency." EAA acknowledged the appointment but there was no immediate reaction from President Rod Hightower.