Medium - Tome Hoffmann

01 March 2024

Michael Whitaker was appointed FAA Administrator in October of 2023. You may recall Michael as the former Deputy Administrator from 2013 to 2016. In addition, he has experience as an airline and advanced air mobility (AAM) industry executive and is an active general aviation (GA) pilot. This background has provided an excellent foundation for understanding the complex and dynamic world that makes up aviation transport.

The FAA Safety Briefing magazine team got the opportunity to sit down with Administrator Whitaker in early January. We were eager to hear about his priorities for the aviation industry and his vision for the future of GA as he embarks on his five-year term.

Tell us a little bit about your background and what experiences have prepared you for your role as FAA Administrator.

My dad was in the Army, so I moved around a lot as a kid and kept moving around as an adult. I don’t have a natural home base, although I do consider New England home, specifically Vermont, where I’ve spent the last 20 years. I took ground school and my first flying lesson in college, but unfortunately, that project wound up being put on hold for about 30 years. I’ve always had an interest in aviation though and have been in the industry full-time for about 32 years. After law school I practiced for a short period of time, then joined TWA [Trans World Airlines]. I later worked with United Airlines in Chicago, starting out in regulatory matters, and ended up in charge of commercial alliances, joint ventures, and international affairs.

[Read more: Aviate, Navigate, Communicate. An Interview with FAA Administrator… | by FAA Safety Briefing | Cleared for Takeoff | Mar, 2024 | Medium]