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Report: Trump pushes for personal pilot to head FAAReport: Trump pushes for personal pilot to head FAA

According to a report in Axios, President Donald Trump is pushing for his personal pilot, John Dunkin, to be the next FAA administrator.

Dunkin first started flying Trump in 1989, and spent the lead-up to the 2016 election captaining the then candidate’s Boeing 757, dubbed Trump Force One.

The news of the potential appointment was met with skepticism. One aviation lobbyist told Politico, “The only person that thinks it's a good idea, from what I gather, is the president.”  

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, said, “I'd prefer that they send somebody up that we can confirm easily.”

An administration official defended the possible pick and told Axios, "He’s managed airline and corporate flight departments, certified airlines from start-up under FAA regulations, and oversaw the Trump presidential campaign’s air fleet, which included managing all aviation transportation for travel to 203 cities in 43 states over the course of 21 months.”

Deputy FAA Administrator Dan Elwell is currently Acting FAA Administrator and has not been confirmed by the Senate. Elwell is also a former military and commercial pilot.

Joe Kildea

Joe Kildea

AOPA Senior Director of Communications
Joe is a student pilot and his first solo flight was at AOPA’s home airport in Frederick, Maryland. Before joining AOPA in 2015, he worked for numerous political campaigns, news organizations, and the White House Press Office.
Topics: Advocacy, Capitol Hill, FAA Information and Services