In a September 13 letter to Senate leadership, AOPA and 27 other organizations asked for movement on two major initiatives currently awaiting congressional approval: FAA reauthorization and confirmation on the nomination of an FAA administrator.
“A completed FAA Reauthorization bill and a confirmed Administrator in 2023 will contribute in a substantial fashion to strengthening the agency’s efforts in advancing safety, efficiency, infrastructure, and innovation, supporting the FAA’s workforce, and enhancing the jobs and global competitiveness of the U.S. aviation industry,” the letter stated.
Aviation stakeholders have been calling for stable leadership at the FAA and the passage of reauthorization so that collaboration can begin on issues facing pilots, such as the nationwide designated pilot examiner shortage, the need for more general aviation hangars, the elimination of egregious and unnecessary FBO fees, and the needed modernization of FAA systems and infrastructure.
“This is an extremely important time for general aviation with the dual issues of FAA reauthorization and permanent leadership at the agency,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “The Senate can take the right steps on both, ensuring that we have the right people and priorities in place to keep our airspace the safest in the world and that GA’s needs are well-addressed moving forward.”
Whitaker is a private pilot who has extensive experience working in leadership positions in the aviation industry, and he’s also served in prominent positions within the FAA. His swift confirmation is in the best interest of all involved.
FAA reauthorization is the other priority of the signees on the letter. While the House overwhelmingly passed its bill in July, the Senate version has stalled in committee over negotiations related to the 1,500-hour training rule.