Aviation groups welcome nomination of Michael Whitaker as next FAA Administrator
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) have welcomed the Biden administration’s nomination of Michael Whitaker to serve as the next permanent administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Whitaker is an attorney, a longtime aviation industry professional and private pilot, who served as deputy FAA administrator from 2013-2016. In that role, he also led the agency’s air traffic modernization efforts as the Chief NextGen Officer.
Since 2020, Whitaker has worked with Supernal, the advanced air mobility (AAM) subsidiary of Hyundai, currently serving as the company’s chief operating officer | Photo courtesy Supernal.
“Mike Whitaker has long been an outspoken aviation safety advocate and champion of innovation in the industry, who demonstrated during his time as Deputy Administrator at the FAA that he is a proven leader who delivers results,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We enthusiastically support his confirmation as FAA administrator.”
“The FAA, the civil aviation industry and the American flying-public deserve a leader with experience in managing large organizations and an aviation background to develop an aviation system that is safer, more efficient and technologically advanced," said GAMA President and CEO, Pete Bunce.
"We are pleased to see that the Biden Administration has nominated Mike Whitaker, who we feel possesses the leadership skills, management experience and aviation knowledge needed to lead the FAA. Having worked with Mr. Whitaker in his previous role as FAA Deputy Administrator, we are confident that his intimate knowledge of how the agency functions and interfaces with the Department of Transportation, Congress and the industry will improve his ability to navigate the challenges now facing the FAA.
"We also believe that Mr. Whitaker and Katie Thomson, the recently appointed Deputy Administrator, will be a strong leadership team for the agency. GAMA supports the confirmation of Mr. Whitaker to provide needed stability and direction for the FAA during this transformative time for aviation,” he concluded.
Whitaker has served in several key industry roles, including as assistant general counsel for TWA and then 15 years with United Airlines, including as senior vice president of alliances, international and regulatory affairs. After leaving United, he was named Group CEO at InterGlobe Enterprises, the holding company for IndiGo, India’s largest airline.
In addition to leading the FAA’s NextGen program while deputy administrator, Whitaker also stood up the agency’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office, the first FAA organization dedicated to UAS operations in the National Airspace System.
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 14th September 2023 | Issue #715