Economic Liberties Supports Whitaker Nomination at FAA, Urges Congress to Act Swiftly

September 7, 2023 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — In response to news that President Biden has nominated Michael G. Whitaker as Nominee for Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, the American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement.

“The enormous responsibilities of the Administrator of the FAA cannot be overstated in respect to protecting the health and safety of passengers, employees, and the public at large by overseeing airlines, airports, aircraft manufacturers, personnel, and America’s entire aviation ecosystem,” said William J. McGee, Senior Fellow for Aviation and Travel at the American Economic Liberties Project. “It’s a huge job, and Economic Liberties believes Mr. Whitaker’s varied experience at the FAA and in the industry working in both the airline and drone sectors makes him very qualified to serve well in this role. We urge Congress to move quickly to approve his nomination.”

Despite the urgent need for strong leadership at the head of such a safety-critical agency, the role of FAA Administrator has been politicized in recent decades, across multiple Administrations. There have been five Acting Administrators at the helm of FAA since 2007, and partisan politics in Congress has contributed to lengthy gaps in approving nominees. While the Acting Administrators are capable of running day-to-day operations for the world’s largest aviation agency and busiest air traffic control network, FAA is hampered from implementing long-term safety goals without a permanent Administrator in office, including the critical need to increase staffing. It’s time to de-politicize the Federal Aviation Administration and provide the budget and resources necessary to do its job.

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The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.