Republican AGs Raise Concerns Over FAA’s DEI Policies

Eleven Republican attorneys general sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), highlighting the “misordered priorities” of the agency.

Writing to the FAA’s administrator, Michael Whitaker, the AGs said, “We are troubled by some recent reports regarding your agency’s hiring practices and priorities. It seems that the FAA has placed ‘diversity’ bean counting over safety and expertise, and we worry that such misordered priorities could be catastrophic for American travelers.”

Noting that the FAA has always prioritized keeping Americans safe, the AGs wrote that under the Biden administration, the FAA “appears to prioritize virtue-signaling ‘diversity’ efforts over aviation expertise. And this calls into question the agency’s commitment to safety.”

The Republicans emphasized that the FAA is “singlemindedly focused on hiring a ‘diverse’ workforce.

While the FAA was focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies, the FAA was “not prioritizing ensuring that Americans safely arrive at their destinations.”

“The FAA should once again hire based on merit so that only the most qualified aviation experts take care of America’s air travel,” the letter concluded. “When it comes to air travel, safety must always come first. American lives depend on it.”

The following states’ attorney generals signed the letter: Kansas, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, and Texas.

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, who led the letter, said in a statement, “It’s outrageous that the FAA is making passenger safety take a back seat to diversity.”

“Given the recent FAA failure that delayed thousands of flights last January and the recent spike in near aircraft collisions, we are very worried that the FAA has lost sight of its primary goal – ensuring the safety of American skies,” Kobach added. “American lives depend on the FAA hiring the most-qualified aviation experts.”

A December 2023 report found that U.S. airports saw 19 close calls and near misses, the greatest number since 2016.

In many cases of near misses, planes enter an area set for a different aircraft, forcing another to quickly move elsewhere to avoid a collision or accident.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has called the near misses “almost mass fatality crashes.”