Acting Federal Aviation Administration Commissioner Billy Nolen engaged in a heated discussion with Ohio Republican Senator J.D. Vance on Wednesday regarding the FAA’s 2023 budget. The budget prioritizes “racial equity” and includes a recommendation from an advisory group to replace gendered terms like “airman” and “cockpit” with gender-neutral terms such as “aviator” and “flight deck.”
Senator Vance inquired from Commissioner Nolen whether the FAA had released a 176-page guidance document in December 2021, replacing “notices to airmen” with “notices of air mission.” Nolen confirmed this and also affirmed that the language change was intended to eliminate the use of the gendered term “airmen.” Vance then asked if Nolen was acquainted with the FAA’s inclusive language summit that was held on November 10th, 2021, to which Nolen acknowledged being aware of.
‘This Has To Be A Joke’: JD Vance Confronts Biden Official Over FAA’s ‘Inclusive Language’ Guidance https://t.co/Mzmid96KQP
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Senator Vance proceeded to describe how Deputy Administrator Mims had mentioned during the summit that using gendered terms like “airmen” or “unmanned aircraft” can create an impression that the Aerospace Community is exclusively for men. Vance chuckled, indicating that he believed this to be a joke. In response, Nolen stated that adopting inclusive language is a positive step and would not compromise airspace safety. Nolen also emphasized the significance of finding inclusive ways to connect with underrepresented groups.
Afterward, Senator Vance persistently questioned Nolen regarding the use of inclusive language. Vance then expressed that his constituents probably think that if a pilot is offended by simple words like “wife” or “cockpit,” perhaps that person should not be a pilot. Instead of accommodating fragile individuals, Vance suggested that it might be better to tell them that if they are too concerned about the words being used, they should not be flying.
The conversation between Senator Vance and Commissioner Nolen shed light on the significance of adopting inclusive language in today’s world. While some may deem it unnecessary or absurd, it’s crucial to acknowledge that language can have a profound impact on people’s sense of inclusion or exclusion. To establish a just and fair society, it’s vital to employ language that is considerate and all-encompassing of everyone.
It’s evident that Senator Vance and Commissioner Nolen hold contrasting opinions regarding this matter. Senator Vance thinks that individuals who take offense to language should not be pilots, while Nolen thinks that discovering inclusive approaches to engage underrepresented groups is crucial. Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of the FAA and other entities to determine the most effective way to use language to build a just and equitable society for everyone.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Caller