A woman may take the helm at the US Federal Aviation Administration if the latest buzz in Washington DC proves accurate and if Jane Garvey, currently acting administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is brave enough to want the job.

Following months of almost total silence since David Hinson stepped down as FAA administrator in November, Garvey's name is one of less than a handful to have been circulated as a likely candidate, and the only one to be cautiously accepted by airlines and watchdogs alike. A former director of the National Transportation Safety Board was regarded as too close to the industry, while a former US Air Force chief was rejected by the airlines because of his military background.

Garvey's nomination had not been confirmed by presstime, but so far the only objection raised against that possibility has been the fact that she has no piloting experience.

Nevertheless, the influential Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, says he has heard 'good things' about Garvey, whose previous posts have included deputy administrator at the FHWA, head of the Massachusetts Department of Public Works and director of Boston's Logan International Airport. McCain adds that he is hoping for a nomination soon. 'Without an administrator or a deputy it is very difficult for us to pursue some of the very tough issues that face us.'

Among those tough issues that will confront the new administrator are the ticket tax versus user fee debate, ongoing reform of the FAA, the controversial overflight fees that the agency is introducing, and a restoration of public faith in the FAA post-ValuJet.


Source: Airline Business