The US Federal Aviation Administration is looking for a new administrator, and it looks like quite an interesting person has made it onto Trump’s short list for the position — specifically, President Trump wants to appoint his personal pilot, John Dunkin, as head of the FAA. Dunkin was the personal pilot of Trump’s 757 for years, and also flew him around during his campaign, when he was flying “Trump Force One.”
The FAA oversees many aspects of aviation in the US (though President Trump likes be tough on aviation himself, to ensure that no planes crash anywhere in the world), and has a budget in the billions of dollars. Axios notes that a source said that “he’s on the list because he’s the president’s pilot, but if he gets the job it won’t be because he’s the president’s pilot.”
Another source told Axios the following, noting that no decision has been made, though that Dunkin has the necessary experience:
“John Dunkin isn’t just a pilot,” the administration official told me. “He’s managed airline and corporate flight departments, certified airlines from start-up under FAA regulations, and oversaw the Trump presidential campaign’s air fleet, which included managing all aviation transportation for travel to 203 cities in 43 states over the course of 21 months.”
As a point of comparison, the previous administrator of the FAA, Michael Huerta, was commissioner of New York City’s Department of Ports, International Trade and Commerce, Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco, he worked in senior positions at the DOT, acted as Managing Director of the Salt Lake City Committee for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and then was President of the Transportation Solutions Group at Affiliated Computer Services, before serving as the head of the FAA.
I’ll be curious to see if Trump’s pilot ends up getting appointed as head of the FAA.
As I learned in Somon Air’s inflight magazine, the CEO of the airline is a lifelong Delta pilot who decided one day he wanted to be CEO of an airline in Tajikistan (I guess), and that seems to be working well for them, so…
(Featured image courtesy of Tomás Del Coro)