Pistole confirmed to head TSA

June 25, 2010

The Senate voted unanimously June 25 to confirm the nomination of FBI Deputy Director John Pistole to head the Transportation Security Administration.

Pistole will join the TSA from a 27-year career in the FBI, which included positions dealing with counterterrorism and security. The agency has been operating under the temporary leadership of acting administrator Gale Rossides.

“The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association welcomes the confirmation of John Pistole as administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, a post that has been vacant for far too long,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “Mr. Pistole’s law enforcement background as deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is impressive. We look forward to working with him on issues affecting general aviation, such as the Large Aircraft Security Program, once he officially assumes the role of administrator.”

The head of the TSA determines the agency’s approach to security issues, including general aviation security, but the post has been vacant for one and a half years. Pistole is President Barack Obama’s third nominee for the spot; Los Angeles airport police official Erroll Southers and retired Maj. Gen. Robert Harding withdrew their nominations.