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Whitaker confirmed as new FAA administrator

Earns unanimous Senate approval

Michael Whitaker was confirmed by the Senate as the next FAA administrator on October 24 and will assume the duties of the office within days.

Photo by Chris Rose.

The Senate voted unanimously (98-0) to confirm Whitaker, who will serve a five-year term ending in 2028.

The FAA has been without a permanent leader since Steve Dickson resigned in March 2022. Whitaker’s confirmation arrived just in time, as Polly Trottenberg, who has been in the role of acting administrator since June, was prohibited from serving in the role past October 25.

Whitaker was nominated by President Joe Biden on September 7 and unanimously approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on October 18 after a hearing earlier in the month. The confirmation process has been virtually undisputed because of Whitaker’s extensive aviation experience within both the public and private sectors and led to a quick vote by the full Senate.

From 2013 to 2016 Whitaker served as the deputy administrator and chief NexGen officer at the FAA, during which he became familiar with issues facing general aviation pilots. Over his career, he has spent time at Trans World Airlines, United Airlines, InterGlobe Enterprises, and Hyundai Urban Air Mobility. Prior to his confirmation as administrator, between January 2022 and October 2023, Whitaker had worked in various leadership roles at Supernal, a mobility service provider developing advanced air mobility electric aircraft and a supporting transit ecosystem.

“I am really pleased the Senate took action to confirm Mike and look forward to working with him to help pilots and to move GA forward,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “He’s a capable leader, knows aviation, knows the agency, and he’s a private pilot.”

Lillian Geil
Communications Specialist
Communications Specialist Lillian Geil is a student pilot and a graduate of Columbia University who joined AOPA in 2021.
Topics: Advocacy, Capitol Hill

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