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Allied Pilots Association Voices Strong Support for Mike Whitaker to Lead FAA

FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 19, 2023) – The Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, voiced its strong support for the prompt confirmation of nominee Mike Whitaker to serve as Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Our National Airspace System faces unprecedented challenges, and we need a steady hand leading the FAA at this critical juncture. We believe Mike Whitaker is up to that task,” said Capt. Ed Sicher, Allied Pilots Association President.

“Aggressive airline scheduling in response to post-pandemic travel demand – combined with lower overall levels of experience due to heightened turnover among pilots, air traffic controllers, mechanics, and other workers – have put enormous stress on the system,” he said. “Strong leadership is required to ensure that we preserve the margin of safety as commercial aviation navigates these challenges. Fortunately, Mr. Whitaker has the requisite experience.”

In a Sept. 15 message of support for Mr. Whitaker’s nomination, the Department of Transportation emphasized that he “is fully committed to aviation safety including protecting pilot training, preserving qualification regulations, and keeping at least two well-trained pilots on the flight deck.”

“We are very pleased that Mr. Whitaker has taken a strong stand on comprehensive and rigorous pilot training, the importance of maintaining experience requirements for new-hire pilots, and the need to have a minimum of two well-trained, well-rested pilots on the flight deck,” Capt. Sicher said. “The FAA needs a confirmed leader, and Mr. Whitaker is the right person for the job. We are pleased that the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation supports Mr. Whitaker’s nomination to serve as FAA Administration, and we urge the U.S. Senate to confirm his appointment promptly.”

Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association – the largest independent pilots union in the United States – is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, including several hundred pilots on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s website is