In November of 2017, the President signed a memorandum directing the Secretary of Transportation to develop guidelines to better support the President’s goal of improving the public’s safety and well-being through the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) use of the Presidential Commission on Aviation Safety (PCAS).
The President also directed the Secretary to issue a Presidential Memorandum establishing the Presidential Aviation Advisory Committee, to advise the President and his Cabinet on air safety matters.
In early February 2018, the president signed another memorandum directing that the Department of Transportation conduct an evaluation of its existing air traffic control system and provide a report to Congress on the status of the project.
The President signed another memo directing the Office of Management and Budget to conduct a study of air traffic controller training and the use of technology in the development of air-traffic control systems.
On March 11, 2018, a Federal Aviation Commission (FAC) Inspector General (IG) issued a report detailing the Department’s plans to overhaul the Federal air traffic management system to better accommodate aircraft with large loads and greater speed requirements.
During the May 19, 2018 Congressional hearing, the GAO interviewed a representative from the FAA’s Commercial Air Transportation Services (CATS) division.
The representative told the GAI that the FAA was aware of the issue and was working to address it, but it was still a long way off.
Despite the GAJ report’s findings, the FAA has continued to use President Trump’s name and images as the source of guidance for air traffic controllers.
For example, on March 16, 2018 President Trump issued a memorandum ordering the FAA to provide information regarding the safety and security of unmanned aircraft systems in its airspace.
The FAA has since made a public effort to make this information public, but the FAA continues to use his image and the name of the President in the guidance.
Since the May 6, 2018 FAA press conference on the CATS pilot training program, the Federal government has issued numerous statements stating that they are working on ways to better identify and train air traffic controls to better assist the President.
In October 2018, an IG report found that the Office was not providing the information the President ordered.
In the following days, a White House statement reiterated that the White House was “actively working with the FAA” on a new training program to better align with the new Presidential Commission’s goals of improved air traffic safety.
Later that month, a GAO report found the FAA had been using President Trump and the Trump-branded airline in public-service announcements.
The GAO found that these advertisements have been used by the FAA in “repeated public statements” without any guidance.
The GAO also found that FAA officials had used President Trump in a “pattern of use” on other issues that have not been reported.
Throughout the summer, the Trump administration has continued its use of President Trump to promote its own agenda.
President Trump’s actions in relation to aviation have led to increased calls for a Congressional investigation into the Trump Administration’s actions.
While it is possible that the President is correct that he was not following all of the recommendations in the GAOs report, it appears that the GAo’s report was the only report the President could find that would not directly implicate him in an official FAA decision.
Although the GAos report has focused on President Trump, many of the other FAA actions that the Government has taken are in line with his stated goals of improving air traffic and security, including: increasing the number of pilot training instructors; establishing an Office of Safety, Security, and Preparedness within the FAA; increasing safety awareness through the use, training, and management of air vehicles; creating a Presidential Aviation Commission; reaffirming the authority of the Secretary in implementing aviation safety rules; and expanding air traffic over the continental United States.
The President should take the GAOS report seriously and address it with the Federal Government and the FAA, and he should continue to use the name and image of the Commander-in-Chief.
I have no doubt that the president will soon have a clearer picture of the GAoS findings.
As a member of Congress, I want the Federal authorities to conduct an independent, impartial, and objective review of the actions of the Trump White House and the Federal agencies that support it.