Thursday 16 February 2023

‘This Has To Be A Joke’: JD Vance Confronts Biden Official Over FAA’s ‘Inclusive Language’ Guidance

 Ohio Republican Sen. J.D. Vance on Wednesday confronted acting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commissioner Billy Nolen over “inclusive language” guidance.

The FAA’s 2023 budget includes focuses on “racial equity” while an advisory group for the agency proposed back in 2021 that the agency replace works like “airman” and “cockpit” with gender-neutral terms like “aviator” and “flight deck.”

Vance grilled Nolen about the potential changes. “Did the FAA issue 176 page guidance document changing notices toairmen to notices of air mission in December of 2021?” Vance asked.

“We did,” Nolen said.

“This was in part to avoid using the gendered term ‘Airmen’ correct?” Vance asked.

“Yes sir.”


“On November 10th, 2021, the FAA had an inclusive language summit, are you familiar with his effort?”

“I am,” Nolen said.

“Okay, during this summit, which had a solicitation published in the Federal Register Deputy Administrator Mims stated that when we use terms like ‘Airmen’ or ‘unmanned aircraft,'” Vance said as he began to chuckle. “I’m sorry I’m laughing because this has to be a joke, we’re sending a message that only men belong in the Aerospace Community, do you agree with that?”

Nolen said the language change is a good thing to do but that nothing will detract from the safety of the airspace.

Nolen also said that finding “inclusive ways” to reach “underrepresented groups” is important.

Vance pressed Nolen several more times on the inclusive language before stating that his constituents likely feel that if there is a pilot offended by a basic word such as “wife” or “cockpit” maybe that individuals shouldn’t be a pilot.

“Rather than kowtowing to people who are fragile maybe we should actually say if you’re so worried about the words that we are using you shouldn’t be flying,” Vance said.

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