The White House confirmed on Thursday that President Joe Biden is nominating Michael Whitaker to serve as the next FAA Administrator. Whitaker was deputy administrator at the FAA from 2013 to 2016 and spent 15 years at United Airlines, where he held positions including director, vice president and senior vice president. A private pilot, he currently works as chief operating officer at advanced air mobility (AAM) company Supernal and serves on the board of the Flight Safety Foundation. Whitaker holds a juris doctorate from Georgetown University.
Whitaker will need to be confirmed by the Senate before assuming the Administrator role. The FAA has been without a Senate-confirmed Administrator since the resignation of Steve Dickson in March 2022. As previously reported by AVweb, Biden’s first nominee for the position, Phil Washington, withdrew from the nomination last March after a contentious confirmation hearing. The position has been filled by acting administrators Billy Nolen, who was appointed after Dickson’s departure, and Polly Trottenberg, who was appointed last June.
Whitaker’s nomination has gained support from aviation organizations including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).