US airlines have welcomed President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Elaine Chao as the next transportation secretary.

Chao, if confirmed by the Senate, will succeed Anthony Foxx in the position.

Nicholas Calio, the chief executive of Airlines for America (A4A), calls Chao an “outstanding” choice.

“We look forward to working with her, and the DOT under her leadership, to usher in a new era of innovation, smarter regulation, and transformational reforms to modernise our nation’s antiquated ATC system that will ensure our infrastructure in the sky is ready to meet the demand on the ground,” says Calio.

A4A, which represents most of the US major airlines, has been pushing for US air traffic control to be separated from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Chao was previously labour secretary under President George W Bush, and had served in that role for all eight years of Bush’s term. She was deputy transportation secretary under President George H W Bush. Calio notes that he had worked alongside Chao in both administrations.

If confirmed, Chao will take over the reins at the DOT as major US carriers continue to lobby the agency on issues involving foreign airlines. US mainline carriers and labour unions are lobbying their government to take action against three Gulf carriers for alleged subsidies. They are also calling on the DOT to deny applications by Norwegian for a foreign air carrier permit to transfer US long-haul flights to its European subsidiaries.

It is not yet clear what stand the Trump administration will take on these issues.

Source: Cirium Dashboard