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BEG2IAH
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FAA Nominee

Fri Jun 10, 2022 6:52 pm

Denver airport official 'leading contender' to be FAA nominee

WASHINGTON, June 9 (Reuters) - Denver International Airport Chief Executive Phil Washington is a "leading contender" to be nominated to head the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a White House official told Reuters on Thursday.

The job has been vacant since March 31 when Steve Dickson, who was nominated to the position by former President Donald Trump in 2019, stepped down about halfway through his five-year term.

Washington headed the Biden-Harris Transportation Department transition team, and he previously was the CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) from 2015 to 2021. He also was a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Army.

Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/1-denver ... 11129.html

Thoughts? Dickson seemed far more qualified than Washington for the position.
 
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HowardDGA
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Re: FAA Nominee

Fri Jun 10, 2022 7:08 pm

Will a new FAA head speed up certifications?
 
Avatar2go
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Re: FAA Nominee

Fri Jun 10, 2022 7:23 pm

Dickson did a great job and weathered several political storms that were not of his own making. He also had in-depth knowledge of the airline industry from his pilot and VP tenure at Delta.

Not really familiar with Washington. He won't have the technical knowledge of airliners and regulations that Dickson did, so we'll have to see.

As far as certification, that's really a matter of verifying compliance with the regulations. There is added diligence now, as the FAA needs to show they have conducted a thorough review. I don't think it matters who the administrator is, the FAA is not going to back away from that stance
 
BEG2IAH
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Re: FAA Nominee

Fri Jun 10, 2022 7:29 pm

HowardDGA wrote:
Will a new FAA head speed up certifications?


Even if he wants to that's the last thing he would publicly admit.
 
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LAXintl
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Re: FAA Nominee

Fri Jun 10, 2022 7:36 pm

Not exactly a wealth in aviation experience with a mere 1-year under his belt at DEN.

Here in LA, can't say he had any stellar achievements either during his 6-years running the MTA.
 
AndoAv8R
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Re: FAA Nominee

Mon Jun 13, 2022 8:01 pm

Anyone affiliated with the operations of Denver has no business getting promoted. But it's all about politics and not actual track record or resume.
 
BEG2IAH
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Re: FAA Nominee

Wed Jul 06, 2022 5:21 pm

It seems it's now official. I'm not sure what "deep expertise in transportation" Buttigieg is talking about. Washington has very questionable credentials for the position.

WASHINGTON, July 6 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden plans to nominate Denver International Airport Chief Executive Phil Washington to head the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the White House said on Wednesday.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement "Phil’s deep expertise in transportation, his service in the military, and his track record helping Americans safely get where they need to go, make him the right leader to help meet today’s aviation challenges and prepare for the future."

Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/1-biden- ... 07006.html
 
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intotheair
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Re: FAA Nominee

Wed Jul 06, 2022 5:39 pm

AndoAv8R wrote:
Anyone affiliated with the operations of Denver has no business getting promoted. But it's all about politics and not actual track record or resume.


100%. He's not really responsible for much of DEN's current problems as they were all percolating before he got the DEN CEO job, but his appointment to that position alone was purely a political decision because of how close he and the mayor of Denver are. DEN never seriously conducted any kind of search for that job when he was picked.

The only meaningful thing he's done in his short tenure at DEN has been to launch a committee to investigate how DEN can get a nonstop flight to Africa, which has caused many of us in the DEN thread to roll our eyeballs lately.
 
superbizzy73
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Re: FAA Nominee

Wed Jul 06, 2022 7:00 pm

BEG2IAH wrote:
It seems it's now official. I'm not sure what "deep expertise in transportation" Buttigieg is talking about. Washington has very questionable credentials for the position.

WASHINGTON, July 6 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden plans to nominate Denver International Airport Chief Executive Phil Washington to head the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the White House said on Wednesday.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement "Phil’s deep expertise in transportation, his service in the military, and his track record helping Americans safely get where they need to go, make him the right leader to help meet today’s aviation challenges and prepare for the future."

Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/1-biden- ... 07006.html


With a quote like that from Buttgieg, that could be any veteran working in the transportation sector. Politics at its best.
 
Squints
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Re: FAA Nominee

Wed Jul 06, 2022 7:36 pm

intotheair wrote:
AndoAv8R wrote:
Anyone affiliated with the operations of Denver has no business getting promoted. But it's all about politics and not actual track record or resume.


100%. He's not really responsible for much of DEN's current problems as they were all percolating before he got the DEN CEO job, but his appointment to that position alone was purely a political decision because of how close he and the mayor of Denver are. DEN never seriously conducted any kind of search for that job when he was picked.

The only meaningful thing he's done in his short tenure at DEN has been to launch a committee to investigate how DEN can get a nonstop flight to Africa, which has caused many of us in the DEN thread to roll our eyeballs lately.


That's not true at all. Phil introduced the new strategic plan for DEN that (mostly) prioritizes improving and maintaining existing infrastructure instead of spendy vanity projects like his predecessor. It's not sexy and won't grab media headlines, but it's what the place needs right now. He's done a lot at DEN behind the scenes to improve organizational accountability, focus, and overall culture.

In reply to the first comment, please don't mistake the operations of DEN with the politics of DEN.
 
DLASFlyer
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Re: FAA Nominee

Wed Jul 06, 2022 11:37 pm

DEN has been a disaster the last 5 years so he’ll be a great fit.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: FAA Nominee

Thu Jul 07, 2022 1:12 am

To be fair, not many secretaries or administrators for DOT/FAA have a wealth of experience in the sector, but that doesn't mean they don't do a decent job. The roles are inherently political — that's kind of the point. Typically the best secretaries and administrators are the ones who are willing to defer to career staff who have a vast knowledge of the agency.
 
atcdan
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Re: FAA Nominee

Thu Jul 07, 2022 2:20 am

As ATCSunDevil points out, he’s hired for his ability to manage and lead, not necessarily background in aviation or any specific discipline for that matter.

One thing I’d like to see from new leadership is a push to relax draconian standards surrounding mental health and various medications. There are a lot of pilots who want to go to therapy, or get a sleep study done, but don’t because they literally risk their livelihood. So the FAA at this point would rather have pilots and controllers live with medical issues instead of seeking help.

So in general I’m optimistic.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: FAA Nominee

Thu Jul 07, 2022 2:55 pm

atcsundevil wrote:
To be fair, not many secretaries or administrators for DOT/FAA have a wealth of experience in the sector, but that doesn't mean they don't do a decent job. The roles are inherently political — that's kind of the point. Typically the best secretaries and administrators are the ones who are willing to defer to career staff who have a vast knowledge of the agency.


The career staff in FAA ATC seem to be doing a great job of manning the force.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: FAA Nominee

Thu Jul 07, 2022 3:47 pm

atcdan wrote:
lOne thing I’d like to see from new leadership is a push to relax draconian standards surrounding mental health and various medications. There are a lot of pilots who want to go to therapy, or get a sleep study done, but don’t because they literally risk their livelihood. So the FAA at this point would rather have pilots and controllers live with medical issues instead of seeking help.

:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:
I couldn't agree more. The whole AME system needs be overhauled, but that's a much bigger discussion.
 
BEG2IAH
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Re: FAA Nominee

Thu Jul 07, 2022 4:22 pm

This position is political, obviously! No one expects from Mr. Washington to fly airplanes or be an astronaut, but there are so many more qualified candidates who know how to lead teams of experts and who are not used to hearing "yes, sir".
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: FAA Nominee

Thu Jul 07, 2022 5:39 pm

BEG2IAH wrote:
This position is political, obviously! No one expects from Mr. Washington to fly airplanes or be an astronaut, but there are so many more qualified candidates who know how to lead teams of experts and who are not used to hearing "yes, sir".

The same could be said of every appointed position in every administration. Administrations rarely get the best person for any job, they get the people they deem to be right for the job. People can agree or disagree with the choice, but it's probably best to reserve judgement until the person has actually served time in the role. There's no other job like being the FAA Administrator, so aside from career folks who rise through the ranks, there are arguably few truly qualified candidates who check the experience boxes. Steve Dickson was arguably not among the best qualified himself, but he is the type of person the prior administration wanted in the role. Administrations tend to want to bring in administrators with expertise elsewhere to adapt to the department. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Given the BIL and the large amount of funding that will go towards airport and air traffic infrastructure, bringing in someone with an airport management background does not seem unreasonable to me.

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