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Tue, Dec 06, 2011

Updated: Aero-News Alert -- Babbitt Resigns As FAA Administrator

Babbitt Submits Resignation To SecTrans LaHood (Updated with DoT, AOPA Reaction)

ANN Real-Time Update, 120611, 2126: The Washington Post is reporting that former FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt was flying as the co-pilot aboard an FAA Cessna Citation 560XL, N2, Monday morning, December 5th... some 36 or so hours AFTER his arrest for DWI.  They have published an audio recording of the flight. The Fairfax City Police have yet to disclose Babbitt’s blood-alcohol level, but .08 is the legal threshold required to levy charges of DWI, in VA. Babbitt is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 2.

Original Report, 120611, 1711: The following statement has just been received by ANN:

"Today I submitted my resignation to Secretary Ray LaHood and it has been accepted. Serving as FAA Administrator has been an absolute honor and the highlight of my professional career. But I am unwilling to let anything cast a shadow on the outstanding work done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by my colleagues at the FAA. They run the finest and safest aviation system in the world and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to work alongside them. I am confident in their ability to successfully carry out all of the critical safety initiatives underway and the improvements that the FAA has planned. I also want to thank Secretary LaHood for his leadership and dedication to the safety of the traveling public."

SecTrans LaHood (pictured below) has issued a statement, as well:

“As FAA Administrator, Randy Babbitt has been a dedicated public servant and outstanding leader. I’m proud to say that we have the safest aviation system in the world, and thanks to Randy’s stewardship, it became safer and stronger. He worked tirelessly to improve relations with the labor community and bolstered employee engagement among his 49,000 colleagues at the FAA. He led the FAA’s efforts to improve pilot training and enhance safety for the traveling public, as well as those that work in aviation. On behalf of the American people, I thank him for his service and his leadership.”

AOPA President, Craig Fuller, has sent ANN a statement on this news, as well:

"Randy Babbitt always impressed me as a principled individual who does the right thing. Today, he determined that means turning over the leadership of the FAA to Acting Administrator Michael Huerta. As FAA administrator, Randy Babbitt worked diligently to ensure that the U.S. aviation system remains the safest in the world. We will respect and miss his leadership; however, we at AOPA have full confidence that the commitment to safety and the progress made over the past few years on a wide range of issues important to our 400,000 members will continue under the strong and effective direction of Acting Administrator Michael Huerta."

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.dot.gov, www.aopa.org



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