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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Senate Confirms Michael Huerta as FAA Administrator

The Senate confirmed Michael Huerta as the FAA administrator this week, making permanent his temporary appointment a year ago.

Huerta was promoted to acting administrator from deputy administrator in December 2011 following the resignation of former FAA chief Randy Babbit. The confirmation solidifies the beginning of his five-year term as the head of the agency.

“Michael Huerta has demonstrated extraordinary leadership as he continues to focus on enhancing the safety and efficiency of the largest aviation system in the world. Ensuring the safety of the traveling public is our top priority, and I am confident that Michael will effectively lead our aviation system as we continue to move NextGen forward,” said U.S. Transportation Ray LaHood.

Several aviation industry groups had called for the confirmation of Huerta, arguing the uncertainty could negatively impact the implementation of NextGen. On Wednesday, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President Ed Bolen applauded the Senate’s confirmation of Huerta.

"Throughout his tenure at the FAA, Michael Huerta has demonstrated strong leadership skills, and an in-depth understanding of issues, including the need for continued transformation to a Next Generation Air Traffic Control System [NextGen], which will produce safety and efficiency gains in America's aviation system," said Bolen.

Airlines for America President Nicholas E. Calio also expressed his approval of the Senate confirmation for Huerta.

"Administrator Huerta's commitment to safety and improved efficiency of our nation's airspace will benefit the traveling public and ensure we continue to build a more vibrant aviation industry that is so important to our nation's economy and workforce,” said Calio.  

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