Pistole confirmed as TSA administrator

After 17 months without an administrator and two failed nominations, the Transportation Security Administration finally has a leader. John Pistole was confirmed for the post Friday, June 25, by the full Senate. As administrator of TSA, he also is assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security

Pistole was deputy director of the FBI, promoted to that position after heading several sensitive posts in the agency. He is well respected and considered by many to be a good choice to lead the TSA.

Senator John “Jay” Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said Pistole’s “diverse experience and broad investigative and national security background will make him a highly effective leader at one of Washington’s toughest posts.” Rockefeller chairs the committee that held Pistole’s confirmation hearing and has Senate oversight of Homeland Security.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) was quick to applaud the confirmation. President Craig Fuller called Pistole’s background impressive. “We look forward to working with him on issues affecting general aviation, such as the Large Aircraft Security Program.”

Representative John Mica (R-Fla.), ranking member on the House committee overseeing transportation, echoed praise for Pistole and urged him to “get TSA back on track.” Saying TSA has been “a headless bureaucracy of 60,000,” Mica said TSA’s performance must be improved. The Congressman recently released two reports from the Government Accounting Office citing examples of TSA’s failures, particularly in aviation screening. He added that TSA cannot be expected to do it all and urged Pistole to begin reevaluation and reorganization of the agency and pledged his support.

Charles Spence is GAN’s Washington, D.C., correspondent.

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