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Senate Confirms Pistole to Head TSA

John Pistole

June 28, 2010 — After an 18-month effort, the Senate has confirmed President Obama’s nominee, John Pistole, to lead the Transportation Security Administration. Pistole was the third nominee sent to Capitol Hill, leaving the agency mostly in the lurch as it dealt with several real threats like the failed bombing of an inbound airliner from overseas last year.

One of  President Obama’s earlier nominees had served in the FBI, but Pistole was former Deputy Director of the bureau and that helped smooth his nomination. Aside from looming union issues with TSA screeners, which helped torpedo the nomination of Earl Southers, Pistole will face several tough issues. The fledgling agency has been accused of being an unwieldy bureaucracy; and the agency is still trying to figure out the best security policies to apply to the aviation industry which has a diverse range of operations that involve disparate security challenges and needs.

“EAA looks forward to working with Administrator Pistole on issues that affect General Aviation, which remains an essential part of our nation’s transportation infrastructure,” said Earl Lawrence, EAA vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. “It is essential to ensure that any security needs are properly balanced so that the freedom of flight is not unduly burdened or restrained.”

AOPA and NBAA also issued statements welcoming the new administrator, hoping that he would strike a balance between security and mobility for general aviation.

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