Honorable J. Randolph Babbitt

Currently Randy Babbitt is the Principal of Babbitt & Associates, LLC. This follows his recent retirement as Senior Vice President of Labor Relations for Southwest Airlines. Prior to joining Southwest and after confirmation by the US Senate, Randy Babbitt served as the FAA’s sixteenth administrator from June of 2009 through December 2011. Babbitt came to the FAA from Oliver Wyman, an international management consulting firm where he served as partner.

A veteran pilot and internationally recognized expert in aviation and labor relations, Babbitt was no stranger to the FAA. He had been a member of the agency’s Management Advisory Council since 2001. In that capacity, he provided guidance to the FAA Administrator on a variety of topics, ranging from air traffic modernization to regulatory policy. He was chairman of the council from 2004-06.

In 2008 he also was appointed by DOT Secretary Mary Peters to be a member of a special Internal Review Team to assess safety oversight within the airline industry and the FAA.

Babbitt had been one of the founding partners of Eclat Consulting, a highly successful aviation firm, in 2001 and was the President and CEO until Eclat was acquired by Oliver Wyman in 2007.

Babbitt began his aviation career as a pilot, flying 25 years for Eastern Airlines. A skilled negotiator, he served as President and CEO for US ALPA, the world’s largest professional organization of airline pilots. While at ALPA, he championed the “One Level of Safety” initiative implemented in 1995 to improve safety standards across the industry. He also promoted the international expansion of ALPA through a merger with the Canadian Air Line Pilots Association in 1997.

He was recognized by Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine with the Laurels Award for outstanding achievement in the Commercial Air Transport and more recently was presented the Aero Club of Washington’s prestigious Donald D. Engen Aero Club Trophy for Aviation Excellence.

He has also been generous with his spare time, serving for almost two decades as an Executive Board member on the Nation Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and active with fundraising and directing Scout projects.

The Modernization and Evolution of Pilot Training for the Future

Randolph Babbitt will be reviewing the history of aviation training and changes made in recent years surrounding the question, “Is the regulatory world keeping up?” Also looking to the changes and requirements being introduced in training today with enhanced simulation, virtual reality, are we planning to meet the needs of the operational environment of tomorrow. And looking forward, how the industry may modernize and capture the new technology and improve the skills and proficiency of tomorrow’s aviators.