Biden Nominates New FAA Administrator After Two Years Of Airline Disasters


Reagan Reese White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden on Thursday nominated a new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) administrator after roughly two years of airline delays, shutdowns and strains.

Michael G. Whitaker, a former FAA deputy administrator and former United Airlines executive, will take over as the FAA administrator pending approval by the U.S. Senate. On Tuesday, United Airlines requested the FAA issue a ground stop order on all of its aircrafts within the United States and U.S.-bound flights from Canada after a systemwide technology issue. (RELATED: Southwest Airlines Suffers Big Meltdown, Faces Blame For Nearly All Cancelled Flights)

“Michael G. Whitaker is currently the chief operating officer of Supernal, a Hyundai Motor Group company designing an electric advanced air mobility (AAM) vehicle,” the White House said in a statement. “In this role, Whitaker overseas [sic] all commercial and key business operations. Whitaker served as Deputy Administrator at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from 2013–2016. There, he brought industry and government together to drive the successful transition of the nation’s air traffic control system from radar to a satellite-enabled surveillance technology.”

Senate approval of Whitaker is not assured after Biden’s previous nomination for FAA administrator, Denver International Airport CEO Phil Washington, withdrew from the position following backlash from congressmen who worried Washington didn’t have enough aviation experience, Politico reported.

A person views a Delta Airlines plane landing from a park next to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on August 31, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Labor Day weekend will cap off the busiest summer of airline travel on record in the U.S. with over 14 million passengers predicted to board flights, which will top pre-pandemic travel numbers. According to the FAA, today will be the busiest day of the holiday weekend with 52,203 flights scheduled in U.S. airspace. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A person views a Delta Airlines plane landing from a park next to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on August 31, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Since the pandemic, air travel in America has experienced many difficulties as airlines face a shortage of pilots and air traffic controllers, as well as management issues with unions, CNN reported. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg notified airlines in June that they would experience setbacks and delays unless they made modifications to withstand 5G wireless signal interference, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Biden administration announced in May that it was working on new regulations that would require airlines to compensate passengers who were affected by cancellations with meals and hotels.