The Senate confirmed the nomination of U.S. Coast Guard veteran Peter Neffenger to head the Transportation Security Administration. Yesterday’s 81-1 confirmation vote comes less than two months after President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Neffenger to succeed John Pistole as TSA administrator. Neffenger steps into his new role with 34 years of service with the Coast Guard, where he rose to the rank of vice admiral.
While Neffenger has little track record in general aviation security, general aviation groups welcomed his nomination and praised the Senate for taking swift action on it. “Neffenger’s extensive background in operations and security issues makes him an excellent choice to lead the TSA,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce.
NATA president and CEO Tom Hendricks echoed those sentiments and stressed that the groups would work with Neffenger to promote risk-based security. “His experience in using a risk-based approach to managing the security of our waterways will be an asset,” added AOPA president Mark Baker. But AOPA also cautioned that general aviation mightremain in the background in the near term as the new administrator must immediately turn his attention to recent security lapses at commercial airports.