President Obama on Tuesday nominated Michael Huerta to serve a five-year term FAA administrator, a post he's held on an interim basis since December following the resignation of Randy Babbitt.
Aviation groups urged a quick Senate confirmation, stressing the need to continue the momentum for the agency's multibillion dollar Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).
"In his work at the FAA, Michael Huerta has demonstrated strong leadership and a solid understanding of the industry's priorities, including the need for continued transformation to a Next Generation Air Traffic Control System, which will produce safety and efficiency gains in America's aviation system," said National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen. "We urge the Senate to move quickly to confirm his nomination as FAA Administrator."
Before serving as acting FAA Administrator, Huerta was deputy administrator under Babbitt. Before coming to FAA in 2011, he headed his own consulting firm, which advised clients on transportation policy, technology and financing. He previously served as president of the Transportation Solutions Group of Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), developing toll-collection systems for transportation agencies, and as chairman of the board of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. A member of the Obama-Biden transition team for the Department of Transportation, Huerta also served in senior positions at DoT under President Clinton from 1993 to 1998. He was managing director of the organizing committee for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.
"While somewhat surprised at the swiftness of the nomination, we appreciate the fact that the Obama administration recognizes the need to name a new FAA administrator now rather than later," said Paula Derks, Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) president. "There are too many challenging issues in the immediate future, including NextGen implementation and the UAV mandate in 2015, to delay appointing a permanent administrator to lead the agency." More