This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
President Donald Trump has proposed some big changes to the Federal Aviation Administration, including privatizing the agency and transforming it into a nonprofit.
Now, Axios is reporting that Trump has privately proposed the pilot of his personal aircraft to be the new head of the FAA. The FAA is responsible for all civil aviation in the US, including managing air traffic control, air transit safety, commercial and recreational drone activity and even space transportation.
John Dunkin flies Trump’s personal Boeing 757 and shuttled him around the country during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump now flies in Air Force One, which is captained by military pilots.
Dunkin has had a “preliminary conversation” with Trump administration officials about the role, according to The Washington Post.
An unnamed administration official told Axios the following about Dunkin:
“John Dunkin isn’t just a pilot. 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.”
In the past Trump has called Dunkin a “real expert” and said that he relies on him for information regarding aviation.
“My pilot, he’s a smart guy, and he knows what’s going on,” Trump said in a meeting last year. In that same meeting, Trump said that it “would be good to have a pilot, like a really good pilot, who knows what’s going on.”
Trump owns a Boeing 757, and Dunkin has served as his personal pilot since 1989. Back then, Dunkin would have flown Trump’s Boeing 727 because his current 757 was built in 1991.
A Smithsonian Channel documentary that featured Dunkin said he’d been flying since he was 15 years old — longer than he’s been able to drive a car. It also said that Dunkin “oversaw the management and maintenance” of all of Trump’s aircraft.
The FAA is currently headed up by Dan Elwell, who serves as acting administrator. Elwell was a former FAA deputy administrator and is being considered for the job, which carriers a term of five years. He replaced FAA administrator Michael Huerta when his tenure ended in January . Missouri Representative Sam Graves is also in the running. Graves is a licensed pilot and was co-chairman of the General Aviation Caucus in the House of Representatives.
Featured image by Robert Alexander/Getty Images.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees