This week, the Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA) announced its support for the Biden-Harris White House’s nomination of Michael Whitaker as the next FAA Administrator.

In a statement, the CDA said, “With a deep background in advanced aviation and having served as Deputy Administrator of the FAA from 2013 to 2016, Mr. Whitaker is eminently qualified to lead the agency.”

Lisa Ellman, Executive Director of the Commercial Drone Alliance, said, “We are grateful to see Mike Whitaker’s nomination sent to the Hill, and we urge his swift confirmation by the Senate. The commercial drone industry can offer many societal benefits, but only if policy keeps up with technology. We are counting on Mike Whitaker’s leadership to spur action on long-awaited regulatory items such as beyond visual line of sight and expanded drone operations, which will ultimately usher in the next era of advanced aviation.” 

Whitaker worked for TWA, United Airlines, and InterGlobe before joining the Obama Administration as Deputy Administrator of the FAA in 2013. At present, Whitaker is Chief Commercial Officer for Supernal, a Hyundai company involved in the development of eVTOL vehicles.

With its endorsement, the CDA joins other aviation and drone-related organizations in supporting Whitaker’s confirmation. For example, Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) President and CEO Brian Wynne stated that “AUVSI looks forward to working with Whitaker and Deputy Administrator Katie Thomson to enhance airspace safety while supporting the integration of uncrewed systems into the airspace. Doing so will bring significant workforce, economic and environmental benefits to American communities."

The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and others have also released statements in support of Whitaker’s confirmation.

News of the Biden-Harris Administration’s intention to nominate Whitaker was addressed during the final keynote presentation at last week's Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas. At that session, Ellman stated her support for Whitaker and called for quick confirmation by the Senate.