The U.S. Senate on May 21 confirmed Randy Babbitt, former president of the Airline Pilots Association, as the head of the FAA. The position has been filled by acting administrators since the term of the previous administrator, Marion Blakey, expired at the end of fiscal year 2007.
“I look forward to working with Administrator Babbitt,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “During his confirmation hearing, and in my conversations with Randy, he demonstrated that he clearly understands general aviation pilots and our needs.
“At the same time, AOPA and its members thank Bobby Sturgell and Lynne Osmus for their efforts as acting administrators to keep major initiatives such as the Next Generation Air Traffic Control System moving forward and to keep the National Airspace System functioning smoothly.”
Babbitt enters the office with several challenges facing him. Two that will directly affect GA are the impending debate over how to fund the FAA and efforts to transition to the satellite-based NextGen ATC system.
“These are challenging times for the aviation industry, but by working together we can emerge stronger,” concluded Fuller. “I pledge on AOPA’s behalf to work with Administrator Babbitt and the FAA to keep those in the air and on the ground safe and to protect the interests of our members.”