Huerta approved as FAA administrator

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington aviation groups were quick to announce their approvals for the Senate confirmation of Michael F. Huerta as FAA administrator.

He was named acting administrator following the resignation of Randy Babbitt on Dec. 6, 2011. He was deputy administrator under Babbitt.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association was first out with congratulations. Pete Bunce, president and CEO of GAMA, called Huerta “a proven and effective leader for the FAA.” He added the association looks forward to continuing to work with him on such critical issues as improving the certification processes globally, advancing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), and furthering critical investments in general aviation safety and infrastructure.

Craig Fuller, president and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, said Huerta has a track record of listening to and working with the general aviation community, which is critical for the GA community as the FAA navigates through significant changes taking place in airspace, navigation, air traffic control and safety programs.

Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, said Huerta has demonstrated leadership skills, including “in-depth understanding of issues, including the need for continued transformation to NextGen, which will produce safety and efficiency gains in America’s aviation system.”

Air traffic controllers also applauded the confirmation and said they look forward to continuing their “strong working relationship.” National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi said Huerta “has demonstrated strong leadership and sharp focus in collaborating with air traffic controllers and all safety professionals to improve the safety of U.S. aviation.”

“Huerta is an experienced and talented official who has a reputation for managing challenging transportation challenges,” said Thomas Hendricks, resident and CEO of National Air Transportation Association. “As the designated federal official of the NextGen Advisory Committee, his leadership has been instrumental in helping drive the increasingly effective activities of this key policy group.”

Before joining the FAA, Huerta ran his own consulting firm advising on transportation polity, financing and technology. He was a member of President Obama’s transition team for the Department of Transportation. During the Clinton administration he held two senior positions at the Department of Transportation. In March of 2012, Obama nominated him for the five-year term of FAA administrator.

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