President Joe Biden on Thursday announced his intent to nominate Michael G. Whitaker to serve as administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. The nomination comes as Congress is seeking to pass a FAA Reauthorization funding bill before the end-of-month deadline.
Whitaker is currently the chief operating officer of Supernal, a Hyundai Motor Group company designing an electric advanced air mobility (AAM) vehicle. In this role, Whitaker overseas all commercial and key business operations. Whitaker served as Deputy Administrator at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from 2013–2016. There, he brought industry and government together to drive the successful transition of the nation’s air traffic control system from radar to a satellite-enabled surveillance technology (ABS-B), the Biden administration said.
Whitaker also has experience in the airline industry, including 15 years at United Airlines in a variety of roles including director, vice president and senior vice president.
Biden previously nominated Denver International CEO Phil Washington for the leadership role, but Washington withdrew his nomination in March after widespread Republican criticism of the choice.
Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) President and CEO Kevin M. Burke, urged the Senate to prioritize Whitaker’s confirmation.
“The aviation industry is navigating multiple challenges presented by our industry’s ongoing recovery, changing customer demands, and mounting infrastructure needs,” Burke said in a statement. “As Washington grapples with important policy discussions around FAA reauthorization and reducing flight delays, the FAA needs permanent leadership at the top. Mike Whitaker brings immense experience in aviation—including his tenure as the FAA’s Deputy Administrator— that will allow him to engage immediately in important policy, regulatory, and infrastructure funding priorities we continue to confront.”