Hoeven Votes to Confirm Michael Whitaker as FAA Administrator

Senator Continues Working to Advance Enhancements for ND Airports, Strengthen State’s Leadership in UAS

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven issued the following statement after voting to confirm Michael Whitaker as Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“Michael Whitaker brings a depth of experience to this important position, both in the private sector and in prior roles at the FAA,” said Hoeven. “We look forward to working with him to meet the demand for safe and efficient air service in North Dakota. At the same time, we continue our efforts to leverage and expand our state’s expertise in UAS, including through our FAA test site, to realize the potential of unmanned technology in both commercial and defense applications.” 

As a member of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Committee, Hoeven will work with Whitaker in his new role to:

  • Ensure support for enhancements to airports across the state, including the recently-announced Terminal Expansion Project at Hector International Airport in Fargo.
    • In recent years, the senator worked to advance similar efforts that were successfully completed, including at airports in Williston and Minot, and he continues supporting the Terminal Development Project in Dickinson.
    • Hoeven is also working to ensure FAA Contract Towers, like the one in Minot, are adequately staffed and address air traffic controller labor shortages.
  • Strengthen North Dakota’s leadership in unmanned aerial systems (UAS) research, development, training and operations.
    • This aligns with legislation Hoeven is sponsoring to extend the authorization for the FAA’s UAS test sites, including the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, through 2028, among other priorities.
    • Earlier this year, Hoeven also secured waivers from the FAA for expanded beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) unmanned flights for the Northern Plains UAS Test Site.