Another individual with personal ties to the president is being considered for a big job within the government.
According to a report from Axios, President Donald Trump is considering his personal pilot, John Dunkin, to head the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Axios reported late Sunday that Dunkin was on the shortlist, thanks to Trump’s recommendation, and that he had already undergone an interview for the post. The Washington Post confirmed that Dunkin was “in the mix” for the post.
“John Dunkin isn’t just a pilot,” Axios quoted an unnamed White House official as saying. “He’s managed airline and corporate flight departments, certified airlines from start-up under FAA regulations, and oversaw the Trump presidential campaign’s air fleet, which included managing all aviation transportation for travel to 203 cities in 43 states over the course of 21 months.”
The FAA is currently led by Dan Elwell, the former deputy administrator who took over as acting head after the previous administrator, Obama-appointed Michael Huerta, left at the end of his term.
Elwell will serve in the position until Trump chooses a permanent replacement.
Trump has previously told airline executives that Dunkin is “a real expert” and a “smart guy.”
The FAA does indeed require somebody “smart” at the top. As the authority that regulates civil aviation in the U.S., it doesn’t just deal with issues such as air traffic control, pilot’s licenses and air transportation safety—it’s also a key player in the hot-button areas of drone technology and commercial space transportation.
While he does speak highly of Dunkin, the Post reported that Trump does not intend to guide the decision-making process.