A Different Spin on the Revolving Door at the FAA

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A prominent Congressman moved from Capitol Hill to Southwest Washington when Rep. Noman Y. Mineta became the (an extremely effective) Secretary of Transportation. Another example of this flow was retired Congressman Don Clausen (his recent obituary), who was appointed FAA Director of Special Projects by President Reagan in 1982. The former naval aviator was the author of the Congressional authorization for the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. This Fredericksburg.com announces the reverse phenomenon— Rod Hall, a recently resigned FAA staffer, proposing to start his political career in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Mr. Hall spent 6 years as the primary contact between the FAA, on the one hand, and the 535 Members of Congress. President Obama appointed him to be the Assistant Administrator for Government Affairs. During his tenure, he was a primary advocate for the Administration’s position on three major bills: the FAA Modernization & Reform Act of 2012, Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013, and the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010. That tour of duty certainly taught him what the legislators know, and do not know, about aviation safety and all of the FAA’s other missions.

Before his years as a the primary lobbyist, his job was Deputy Chief of Staff and associate professional staff member to U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), a senior member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. His work for Representative Johnson made him an expert at subjects like critical infrastructure funding (the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU), Water Resources Development Act), Energy & Environment Appropriations, and Transportation Appropriations Bills. Those experiences should give him unique insights into the federal processes which will influence the Commonwealth of Virginia.

His agenda for his candidacy includes:

· Transportation,

· teacher salaries,

· veteran support,

· college affordability,

· workforce development,

· funding for the Virginia Railway Express, including expediting improvements scheduled for 2021and

· “laser-like focus” on the Stafford Regional Airport

Mr. Hall was quoted “If we are not making the tough choices to ensure our transportation network is able to keep pace with the residents that are supposed to get into this area we’re going to be choking off our own growth. I think it is imperative that we now have a delegate who is going to be unrelenting that our region get its fair share of transportation funding.”

It will be interesting to watch Mr. Hall’s career; maybe someday he will be writing, perhaps more aptly voting (he already was written), legislation on aviation matters.

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