FAA Chief Resigns After DWI Arrest

Three days ago Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief J. Randolph “Randy” Babbitt was arrested under suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and on Tuesday Babbitt revealed his resignation.

In a written statement Babbitt revealed:

“Today I submitted my resignation to Secretary Ray LaHood and it has been accepted.” Babbitt went on to add, “Serving as FAA Administrator has been an absolute honor and the highlight of my professional career. But I am unwilling to let anything cast a shadow on the outstanding work done . . . by my colleagues.”

In a separate email to FAA employees Babbitt wrote:

“It truly has been the highlight of my professional career.”

Learning about Babbitt’s arrested Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said of the incident:

“What I told Randy is that I was very disappointed with the way that I learned about this.”

With the agency facing funding uncertainties and tasked with building a $40 billion GPS-based system expected to revolutionize air travel Babbitt’s departure less than half way through his five-year term couldn’t come at a worse time for the agency.

LaHood said after Babbitt’s resignation:

“As FAA Administrator, Randy Babbitt has been a dedicated public servant and outstanding leader,” and ”On behalf of the American people, I thank him for his service and his leadership.”

While Babbitt was said to be cooperative during his arrest, the agencies focus on safe travel overshadowed his quick apology and willingness to take full credit for his mistake.

Do you think it was the right decision for Randy Babbitt to leave his post at the FAA?