When it came to choosing his Secretary of Transportation, President Joe Biden chose Pete Buttigieg, a man whose resume included 1) outperforming in a handful of presidential primaries and 2) being the mayor of the city. 335th largest city in the United States of America.
This, apparently, qualifies us to lead the way when it comes to the country’s transportation and infrastructure needs. And if he’s the guy running the DOT, wait until you see who gets picked to be his underlings.
Phil Washington, once CEO of Denver International Airport, is President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the Federal Aviation Administration — you know, the agency responsible for making sure planes take off, stay in the air, and land. safely and on time.
According FoxNews, Washington initially did not move forward last year after concerns about its limited experience in the aviation industry were raised. Wednesday, during his Senate confirmation of charges hearings, we found out why these concerns were well-founded.
The first of these questions concerned the airspace requiring an ADS-B transponder. According Trigger avionicsthese devices are “generally associated with a GPS, to transmit very precise position information to ground controllers and also directly to other aircraft.
“This transmission is known as ADS-B Out and is more accurate than conventional radar surveillance. This gives air traffic controllers the ability to reduce the required separation distance between ADS-B equipped aircraft. B.
However, Washington did not know what it was.
“It’s a pretty big part,” Budd said.
Next: “What are the six types of special use airspace that protect…national security that appear on FAA maps?”
Washington: “Sorry, senator, I can’t answer that question.”
Fortunately, the FAA candidate had an answer to the following question. It was wrong, I mean, but he had he.
The question: “What are the operational limits of a pilot flying under BasicMed?” Budd asked.
“Senator, I’m not a pilot, so…” Washington said.
“But obviously you oversee the Federal Aviation Administration, so do you have any idea what those restrictions are under BasicMed?” Budd asked.
“Well, some of the restrictions, I think, would be high blood pressure, some of them would be…” Washington said.
Budd stopped him before he got too far; BasicMed is a program that allows pilots to fly without a medical certificate provided they fly only certain types of planes with limited weight, size and passengers, among others.
“It’s more like the number of passengers per plane, the number of books in different categories, and the altitude you can fly below,” Budd noted. “It has nothing to do with blood pressure.”
Next: Did Washington Have Any Idea About The Causes a plane spin or stall? Answer: No!
Then: the three certifications required by the FAA in the context of aeronautical construction.
“Again, what I would say to that is that one of my first priorities would be to fully implement this certification law,” Washington said.
“Do you know the three guys, Mr. Washington?” Budd intervened.
“No,” he replied. (Type certificate, production certificate and certificate of airworthiness, for the uninitiated.)
“Let’s keep going and see if we can get lucky here,” Budd said after that one.
Spoiler alert: things haven’t improved one iota.
I asked Biden’s nominee for FAA administrator 7 basic questions about aviation policy.
It went 0 for 7.
— Senator Ted Budd (@SenTedBuddNC) March 1, 2023
Well, it’s a way of clowning around in front of Congress. Needless to say, there is only one possible reaction to a performance like this:
… he will fit perfectly into this administration, hire him!!!
— Mini0Truckin0 (@mini0truckin0) March 2, 2023
It comes after a similar embarrassment in January, when Charnelle Bjelkengren, a Biden nominee to sit on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, was unable to respond. fundamental questions about the Constitution.
CRINGE: Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren, candidate for federal district court for Biden, of the Superior Court of Spokane County in Washington state, cannot answer simple questions about the articles of the United States Constitution during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing pic.twitter.com/pbYY2YI2iZ
— Ari Hoffman (@thehoffather) January 26, 2023
However, we are used to an incompetent court system whenever someone with a D after their name occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.; Biden’s only Supreme Court pick couldn’t define a woman because she said she was not a biologist. Planes — and keeping them in the sky — are a pretty different matter, especially after a winter of airport rumbles and a Transportation Secretary who seemed helpless to do more than shout at Southwest Airlines executives on talk shows Sunday morning politics.
Wednesday’s hearing is a sign, however, that the problem may not just lie with treacherous airlines. I am not a candidate and I knew the answer to two of these seven questions (what causes a stall/spin and what are the three types of certificates, respectively).
It’s no wonder, then, that prominent Republicans have already tried to block (pun intended) Washington’s nomination by pointing to his lack of experience in the job he wants and his job performance at his former employer – LA Metro, where corruption allegations have sued Washington over an exorbitant contract for a sexual harassment hotline that was given to a charity linked to a Metro board member.
“It’s bad enough that Mr. Washington has no airline security experience and is entangled in an ongoing and unsolved criminal investigation into public corruption in LA Metro,” GOP Sen said. Ted Cruzasking that the hearing be postponed.
He didn’t need to care, though. After all, if there was ever a time to expose how unemployable Mr. Washington was, it was Wednesday – and Senator Budd has done an outstanding job of exposing it.
This article originally appeared on The Western newspaper.