WATS 2024

The World Aviation Training Symposium

30th April - May 2nd, 2024.

Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, Orlando, Florida, US


US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael G. Whitaker will keynote the 2024 World Aviation Training Summit (WATS) in Orlando, it was announced by the FAA and Halldale Group, organizers of WATS.

WATS is the world’s largest aviation training event with more than 1000 attendees from over 50 countries, including representatives from more than 70 air operators. 

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Whitaker became FAA Administrator in October 2023. He is responsible for helping to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the largest aerospace system in the world.

“The global aviation community is at a critical juncture: a new generation of personnel, new technologies such as XR and AI, and emerging electric aircraft types in an increasingly complex airspace.” said Andy Smith, President and CEO of Halldale. “Coming out of the pandemic, there is a need to refine and accelerate competency-based training of pilots, technicians, cabin crew and other aviation personnel. 

“We have recently seen the concerning effects of personnel shortages, communications errors and safety lapses. The aviation training community looks forward to working together with the Administrator and FAA to address the pressing issues we share.” 

Before becoming FAA Administrator, Whitaker was chief operating officer of Supernal, a Hyundai Motor Group company designing an electric advanced air mobility (AAM) vehicle. 

Whitaker served as Deputy Administrator at the FAA from 2013–2016, and was also the Chief NextGen Officer, responsible for the implementation of FAA's NextGen modernization of the air traffic control system.

Prior to his tenure at the FAA, Whitaker served as Group CEO of InterGlobe Enterprises, operator of India’s largest airline, IndiGo. Whitaker also spent 15 years at United Airlines in a variety of roles as Director, Vice President and Senior Vice President. He began his more than three-decade aviation career as a litigator, then as Assistant General Counsel of international and regulatory affairs at Trans World Airlines (TWA). 

Whitaker is a private pilot, holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and French from the University of Louisville and a juris doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center. 

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