Schumer Says Last Week’s Computer Failure That Grounded Planes & Upended FAA Affirms Need For FAA Admin Confirmation & To Stop GOP Stalling President Biden’s Choice; Leader Will Push To Get Phil Washington Confirmed ASAP
Schumer: It’s Time To Clear The Runway For President Biden’s FAA Administrator
New York, N.Y. - On the heels of tech troubles at the FAA and amid the longstanding vacancy atop the agency, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced at a press conference today a push to clear the bureaucratic logjam and confirm a new FAA Administrator. Schumer said that the airlines and the agency need leadership in place to avert crisis and announced his push to confirm President Biden’s ‘experienced and qualified’ choice, Mr. Phil Washington, who currently leads the Denver airport hub, to lead the agency.
“There is no doubt about it: it’s time to clear the runway for President Biden’s choice for FAA Administrator, Phil Washington. With recent events, including airline troubles and last week’s tech problem, this agency needs a leader confirmed by the Senate immediately,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “I intend to break this logjam, work to hold a hearing for Mr. Washington, where he can detail his experience and answer questions and then work towards a speedy Senate confirmation.”
Schumer said last week’s computer failure that grounded planes and upended national travel for a short time affirms the need to confirm an FAA Administrator. Schumer demanded the GOP stop stalling the president’s choice for the job and said he will work to get Phil Washington confirmed in the Senate ASAP. Schumer said Republican’s desire to seemingly just leave this critical job vacant sends the wrong message to the public and the wrong signal to the airlines. Schumer said that further delay defies the culture of safety credo the FAA is known to embody.
The Federal Aviation Administration said a damaged database file was found as it investigated the cause of the outage to its Notice to Air Missions system (NOTAM). FAA issued NOTAMS are a near-constant stream of acronyms and abbreviations to alert pilots to a host of potential dangers, from parachuters and bad weather to legal airspace restrictions and flocks of birds, the outlet reiterated. Schumer later confirmed there was no evidence of a cyberattack.
"This is an incredibly complex system," DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an interview. "So glitches or complications happen all the time, but we can’t allow them to ever lead to this level of disruption, and we won’t ever allow them to lead to a safety problem."
Schumer, today, said that the path to addressing the concerns of Buttigieg and the larger issues begins and ends with filling the long-vacant FAA Administrator role. Schumer said that he will push to break the GOP stalling that has been going on, expedite a hearing and then work towards a speedy confirmation of Phil Washington, so he can get to work and lead the agency.