FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt has resigned from the FAA in the wake of his arrest Saturday night in a northern Virginia suburb on a charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI).
In a statement released this evening, Babbitt wrote: “Today I submitted my resignation to Secretary Ray LaHood and it has been accepted. 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 24 hours a day, seven days a week by my colleagues at the FAA. They run the finest and safest aviation system in the world and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to work alongside them. I am confident in their ability to successfully carry out all of the critical safety initiatives underway and the improvements that the FAA has planned. I also want to thank Secretary LaHood for his leadership and dedication to the safety of the traveling public.”
The Department of Transportation earlier said FAA deputy administrator Michael Huerta will serve as acting administrator.
A former airline captain and a former president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Babbitt was stopped at about 10:30 p.m. when a City of Fairfax patrol officer saw a car traveling on the wrong side of the road. Babbitt, 65, was the sole occupant of the vehicle, which was not involved in a crash with any other object, Fairfax police said. After it was determined that he was under the influence of alcohol, he was taken to the adult detention center, where a magistrate issued a warrant for DWI.
Babbitt was released the same night on a personal recognizance bond. Fairfax police do not release the blood-alcohol level of those charged, or the results of a field sobriety test. Virginia law defines DWI as a .08 blood-alcohol concentration.