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Tipsheet

JD Vance Criticizes Biden Official Over FAA’s ‘Inclusive Language’ Guidance

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) challenged Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commissioner Billy Nolen after he revealed the FAA's 2023 budget will focus on "racial equity" and "language inclusivity." 

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In 2021, the agency proposed changing words such as "airman" and "cockpit" with "gender-neutral" terms like "aviator" and "flight deck."

"Did the FAA issue a 176-page guidance document changing notices to airmen to notices of air mission in December of 2021?" Vance asked. 

Nolen replied by confirming the change. 

"On November 10th, 2021, the FAA had an inclusive language summit. Are you familiar with his effort?" Vance asked once more, to which Nolen said he was aware. 

In response, Vance found it difficult to contain his reaction to the ludicrousness of the change, saying, "I'm sorry, I'm laughing because this has to be a joke." 

"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 laugh. "We're sending a message that only men belong in the Aerospace Community. Do you agree with that?"

Defending the change, Nolen argued that changing parts of the language is a good thing because it finds "inclusive ways" to reach "underrepresented groups." 

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Vance said that if a pilot is so offended by words such as "cockpit," then maybe they shouldn't be a pilot given how hurt they can be by just terms. 

"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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