The Senate has confirmed the nomination of former Air Line Pilots Association President Duane Woerth as the U.S. permanent representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
A dozen aviation organizations called on the Senate Sept. 21 to ensure that U.S. aviation has a strong voice on the international stage by approving his nomination as soon as possible. In a joint letter, AOPA and other associations asked Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to appoint Woerth in time for the ICAO triennial General Assembly, which convened Sept. 28 in Montreal. The associations stressed the importance of filling the position, which is the primary ambassador to ICAO, the United Nations body charged with developing international standards for aviation safety.
The initial U.S. presence at the assembly included Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, the FAA, the Transportation Security Administration, and others.
“We believe the United States has been disadvantaged by the lack of a permanent representative at ICAO over the past 18 months,” the groups wrote. “During that time, ICAO has hosted a number of high level events in aviation safety, security and environmental matters, and the absence of a U.S. permanent representative has made it difficult to secure multilateral agreements on positions favorable to our interests.”
President Barack Obama nominated Woerth for the position July 1. The associations said Woerth’s background as a former military and airline pilot with extensive experience in the aviation industry could “help influence ICAO as we transform aviation in the United States and move toward the next generation of air traffic management.”