President Donald Trump is pushing to have his longtime personal pilot, John Dunkin, to head the Federal Aviation Administration, according to a report from Axios.
Dunkin, who flew Trump’s personal plane during the campaign, is reportedly on the short list for the top spot at the agency that oversees civil aviation in the United States. Dunkin has previously told people that he would often face delays while flying Trump around and that a pilot running the agency would prevent that.
Administration officials have been pushing back against industry critics of the potential appointment.
“John Dunkin isn’t just a pilot,” an administration official told Axios. “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.”
Dunkin has been interviewed for the post, with one source saying he was “impressive.”
Other potential candidates for the job include Republican Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri and current acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell. He took over for Michael Huerta, an Obama appointee, whose term expired in January.