Sen. Cruz Presses President Biden To Immediately Name Full Time FAA Administrator Nominee

U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-Texas), today sent a letter to President Biden, urging him to immediately nominate a “serious and well-qualified person with substantial aviation experience” to serve as Federal Aviation Administration administrator.

Sen. Cruz wrote:

“The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) has been operating without a Senate-confirmed Administrator for fifteen months. Given the critical role that the FAA Administrator plays in keeping Americans safe when they fly, I urge you to nominate a serious and well-qualified person with substantial aviation experience for this position immediately.

Unfortunately, your administration has failed to prioritize nominating and confirming a well-qualified FAA Administrator. On February 17, 2022, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson announced that he would resign at the end of March. After this announcement, it took you more than four months to name a nominee to replace him.

This lengthy delay was only made worse by your selection of an unqualified nominee—Phil Washington […]

Even though it was clear that Mr. Washington would likely face bipartisan opposition that would make his confirmation by the Senate impossible, you chose to renominate him in January 2023 rather than select a well-qualified nominee whom the Senate could swiftly confirm. Another two months passed before his nomination hearing on March 1, 2023 […]

On March 8, 2023, I publicly recommended that you nominate someone like the then-Acting FAA Administrator, Billy Nolen […] At the time, I emphasized that “a nominee like Mr. Nolen would likely receive widespread bipartisan support” and “would be confirmed quickly.”

Since I first made this recommendation, 97 days have passed without you naming a nominee to be FAA Administrator. In the meantime, Mr. Nolen announced that he would leave the FAA this summer. And it was recently announced that Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg has been selected to serve simultaneously as Acting FAA Administrator and in her current role. While I appreciate that she has had a long career in transportation, her career has not been in aviation[…]

Over two million passengers fly each day in the United States. To keep these passengers safe, the FAA needs a Senate-confirmed Administrator with substantial aviation experience, especially as the FAA is facing serious challenges from near-misses by airplanes to a shortage of air traffic controllers. Every day that passes without a FAA Administrator puts the flying public at risk. I stand ready to work with your administration to swiftly confirm a serious and well-qualified nominee to be FAA Administrator and urge you to nominate one immediately.

Read the full text of the letter HERE.


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