Biden Taps Phil Washington To Become FAA's First Black Permanent Leader

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President Joe Biden’s pick to head the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would be the first permanent Black lead in the agency’s history if he is confirmed, CNN reports.

On Wednesday (July 6), the White House announced that Biden will nominate CEO of Denver International Airport Phil Washington for the vacant FAA administrator position. 

If confirmed, Washington, who runs the third busiest airport in the world, would lead the agency that manages civilian aviation in the U.S.

The historic pick comes as airlines remain under scrutiny for increasing cancellations. As Americans seek to travel at pre-pandemic levels, the airline industry has struggled to keep up with the rapidly increasing demand. 

The federal aviation agency is also facing criticism for its oversight of Boeing airplanes. The FAA is currently investigating Boeing's 737 Max 10 after other variants of Max jets killed 346 people in two aviation crashes.

The agency's top role was previously held by Donald Trump appointee Steve Dickson, who stepped down in March. The position has remained open since Dickson’s exit with Billy Nolen acting as the temporary administrator.

Washington has previously worked with the Biden Administration leading its Transpiration Department transition team and co-chairing the Infrastructure Policy Committee. Before becoming the head of the Denver airport, the FAA nominee was also the longtime CEO of the Los Angeles Country Metropolitan Transit Authority.

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