As drone Remote ID deadline looms, Biden picks new FAA lead
US President Joe Biden has announced his intent to nominate Michael G. Whitaker to serve as chief of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Whitaker’s nomination comes days before the Sept. 16 deadline for operational compliance with the FAA’s Remote ID rule for drone pilots.
Whitaker is currently the chief operating officer of Supernal, the advanced air mobility (AAM) unit of Hyundai. A trained pilot himself, Whitaker is helping the South Korean automotive giant to build flying air taxis that can be put into operation by 2028. He also serves on the board of the Flight Safety Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes aviation safety globally.
But Whitaker is no stranger to the workings of the FAA. He served as deputy administrator at the agency from 2013–2016, notably driving the transition of America’s air traffic control system from radar to satellite-enabled surveillance technology (ABS-B).
Broadly, Biden’s pick comes with more than…