Acting Administrator Michael Huerta testifies before the Senate Commerce Committee

June 21, Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta testified in a nomination hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation with little fanfare and very little substance. Despite a 6 minute grilling by Committee Chairman John Rockefeller regarding FAA’s failure to implement new rules addressing airline pilot training in the wake of the fatal crash of Colgan Flt 3407 and questions regarding the large number of reported policy violations by air traffic controllers, Mr. Huerta’s responses were very general and non specific. Senator Rockefeller’s frustration became apparent when he characterized Mr. Huerta’s responses as being scripted and at one point retorted, “This is not an answer at all”.

Mr. Huerta did address delivery of the Next Generation (NextGen) Air Transportation System in very broad terms; however, there was no mention of the delayed and highly controversial sUAS NPRM and no mention of FAAs reluctance to enact the Model Aircraft provision provided in the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act.

Generally the members of the committee seemed to favor his nomination, and If the committee approves Huerta’s nomination to a five-year term, he will be considered by the full Senate, joining a backlog of more than 150 presidential nominees awaiting full upper chamber confirmation.

Rich Hanson
AMA Government and Regulatory Affairs.

Click the link below to read a complete report on the committee hearing in Bloomberg Business Week
FAA Nominee Grilled by Senators on Whistle-Blowers, Rule Delays

And, listen to an archived webcast of the complete hearing at…
US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation