Flight Attendants Nationwide Call for Phil Washington Confirmation

March 16, 2023

Association of Flight Attendants, Association of Professional Flight Attendants Together Represent 75,000 Frontline Safety Employees

Phil Washington, President Biden’s nominee to serve as the next FAA Administrator, has now received the major endorsements of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), the largest flight attendants union with 50,000 flight attendants across 19 airlines, and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), representing American Airlines’ 25,000 flight attendants. Both organizations made clear the need for a strong, Senate-confirmed leader at the FAA in light of several recent “close calls.”

AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson announced her association’s strong endorsement of Phil Washington, writing to the Committee: “Mr. Washington will bring significant leadership experience and fresh eyes to the FAA at a critical time. As recent incidents have demonstrated, and as we consider the FAA Reauthorization bill, we need to ensure there is a strong and permanent leader at the FAA.”

“Safety requires leadership, vigilance, and the entire aviation community fully engaged in our first and most important priority,” Nelson wrote. “Mr. Washington’s record and engagement with stakeholders gives me tremendous confidence in his ability to lead us forward for the industry, our world partners, and the traveling public. I urge the Senate to confirm his nomination as soon as possible.”

APFA National President Julie Hedrick wrote to the Committee following yesterday’s FAA Safety Summit, saying: “The Federal Aviation Administration is a massive and complex industry that has been without a Senate-confirmed leader for over a year, exactly at the time when our aviation systems appears stretched beyond its limits. Virtually every week a new incident occurs that underscores the needs for permanent…leadership at the top of the FAA.”

“[Phil Washington’s] leadership has been demonstrated in Denver at the nation’s third busiest airport and other equally complex transit systems…” her letter continued. “He understands what is needed to maintain the safest aviation system in the world.  

“Please put the safety of the flying public first by moving this nomination forward,” Hedrick added.

Read the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) letter here.

Read the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) letter here.