In Senate Commerce Hearing, Sinema Highlights FAA Nominee’s Aviation Expertise

Oct 5, 2023

For an MP3 soundbite, click HERE.

Senator continues to call on her colleagues to move forward with the bipartisan reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration

WASHINGTON – In a U.S. Senate Commerce Committee hearing, Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema highlighted the need for the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to have true and tested aviation expertise – noting nominee Michael Whitaker’s breadth of experience in aviation safety, operations, and management.

“America leads the world in aviation safety. It’s our duty to ensure the next FAA Administrator has the necessary, substantial aviation safety experience and expertise,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee.

Sinema regularly meets with experts – including pilots from Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Prescott, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, and others – to inform her work to strengthen aviation safety and operations in Arizona and across the country. Last year, Sinema chaired a subcommittee hearing in Goodyear, Arizona to highlight opportunities to ensure the highest levels of safety and efficiency in the bipartisan reauthorization of the FAA.

During her remarks, Sinema underscored how her bipartisan amendment to the FAA reauthorization legislation improves aviation safety by allowing the FAA to investigate and approve ways to make pilot training more diverse, practical, and robust, such as crediting the use of tested and proven advanced simulator training as part of a comprehensive pilot training regime. Sinema noted that eight former bipartisan FAA Administrators and two former Presidents of the Airline Pilots Association, International (ALPA) have publicly argued that the adoption of tested and trusted new technologies is necessary to strengthen American airspace safety. 

Michael Whitaker – the current nominee to be Administrator of the FAA – served as Deputy Administrator of the FAA from 2013–2016. His breadth of experience extends over three decades in aviation, including his current role serving on the board of the Flight Safety Foundation, a nonprofit promoting global aviation safety.