Stephen Dickson, President Trump's controversial nominee to
head the FAA, won the approval of the Senate commerce committee on Wednesday.
The 14-12 vote was cast along party lines, with Democrats
opposing the nomination amid allegations that Dickson played a role in
retaliating against a Delta pilot who reported safety concerns to him while he
was the carrier's senior vice president of flight operations.
"The committee has spent the past two months reviewing
any and all information regarding Stephen Dickson's nomination, and after
concluding our due diligence, the committee has reported him favorably,"
chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said in a prepared remark.
Dickson must still win confirmation from the full Senate. He
would replace acting FAA administrator Dan Elwell, who has held that post since
the five-year term of Michael Huerta ended in January 2018.
The confirmation process is coinciding with a heightened
period of scrutiny of the FAA following its certification of the flawed Boeing
737 Max aircraft.