Biden nominates new pick to lead Federal Aviation Administration

 September 8, 2023

Joe Biden is making another push to nominate a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) boss, after his previous choice was rejected. 

The White House touted the resume of Michael Whitaker, a former Obama administration official with close ties to the airline industry.

Biden has taken his time nominating someone qualified for the job, despite an alarming and steep decline in the safety of commercial aviation. The FAA has not had a Senate-confirmed boss since last March.

Biden's last nominee, Phil Washington, was withdrawn after his lack of qualifications became clear.

Biden makes another FAA push

Republican Senator Ted Cruz (TX) said Whitaker's record would be carefully evaluated after Biden "wasted an enormous amount of time" pushing Washington, who had virtually no aviation experience.

“I think it is disgraceful that the Biden administration has delayed this long nominating an administrator for the FAA and that they wasted an enormous amount of time nominating an individual who was not remotely qualified to do the job,” Cruz said.

Under Obama, Whitaker was a deputy administrator of the FAA. He is currently the chief operating officer of Supernal, a Hyundai Motor Group that is designing an electric-powered air taxi. Biden, of course, has prioritized electric vehicles.

Whitaker's other private industry experience includes working as an executive at InterGlobe Enterprises, India’s largest travel conglomerate and the operator of its biggest airline, IndiGo, and over a decade in management roles at United Airlines. He is also a private pilot.

Whitaker's cozy relationship with the industry could raise questions about conflicts of interest. His nomination was praised by airline industry groups such as Airlines for America, which touted his appreciation of “the collaborative partnership between industry and government."

Aviation in steep decline

Under Joe Biden, commercial aviation has become an absolute nightmare - plagued by delays, mass cancellations, and a frightening rise in near-disasters.

The FAA grounded all United Airlines flights Tuesday because of a computer glitch. This came months after the FAA grounded all flights nationwide for the first time since 9/11.

While air travel has become more unpredictable than ever, it has also become much more dangerous. A shortage in air traffic controllers has led to a rise in close calls.

A New York Times report found that there were 46 near-collisions in July alone, with many of these incidents going unreported.

The FAA insists the American aviation system is "the safest in the world, but one close call is one too many."

Will Whitaker address these pressing safety concerns? Or will he simply push more of Biden's "equity" nonsense?

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