‘Flew Under The Radar, Thank God’: Dem Rep Brags About Sneaking DEI Funds For Minority Pilots Into Aviation Bill

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Democratic Texas Rep. Jasmine Crockett bragged about sneaking diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) funds into an aviation bill to hire more minority pilots.

The House and Senate approved the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bill to renew authority to the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for five years in an attempt to “strengthen aviation safety standards.” Crockett said she and some of her colleagues snuck in funds to “increase the numbers” of black and Hispanic pilots in their alleged “crazy anti-DEI environment” during a Thursday interview on “Roland Martin Unfiltered.”

“We were also able to get monumental legislation into the FAA Reauthorization Act that really flew under the radar, thank God,” Crockett said. “But this was funding to make sure that hopefully we can increase the number of African Americans and Hispanics that are entering aviation which can be very expensive, but can obviously be very lucrative. So we set up a situation where basically there will be full rides for those attending grant HCBUs as well as HSIs to go into aviation. And in this crazy anti-DEI environment, we were able to get that done.”

Airlines have been lowering their qualification standards for hiring new pilots, which evidently has led to more emergency landings and serious mechanical issues. Many of these airlines have implemented DEI hiring practices to hire more people of color and women to fly planes. (RELATED: These Airlines Have Diversity ‘Representation’ Goals. Here’s Why They Might Be Illegal)

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said in January they are striving for 50% of graduates of their pilot classes to be “women or people of color,” while Alaska Airlines touted its 3.7% increase in racial diversity in March 2023 and intends for its representation to consist of 30% “racial diversity” by 2025, according to a report published by the airline.

United Airlines opened a flight school to train 5,000 aspiring pilots with little-to-no experience by 2030 and aimed for half of its students to be women or people of color, according to CNBC. One of the airline’s planes had to emergency land in late February after the plane’s wing came apart.

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines cut the number of engine turbine hours needed for new pilots in half in February 2023, shortening it from 1,000 hours of flying time to 500 hours, according to Dallas Morning News.

Delta Airlines announced in 2021 that it removed its requirement for pilots to have a four-year college degree. Instead, applicants need to undergo initial training and accumulate 1,500 hours of flight time to become a pilot. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating an issue on a separate Boeing 737-9 Max operated by Alaska Airlines, where a door plug flew off mid-flight in early January.

Analysts have warned that prioritizing DEI over hard metrics is a threat to passengers’ safety.

“The main focus of airline DEI programs is promoting so-called racial ‘representation goals.’ In other words, racial discrimination that puts woke ideology above safety,” Will Hild, executive director of nonprofit consumer protection group Consumers’ Research, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in January.