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Robert A. Sturgell is a former Acting Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), having served from September 14, 2007 to January 15, 2009. Appointed to the position on September 14, 2007 by President George W. Bush, he was never confirmed by the United States Senate. Prior to his appointment, he had served as Deputy Administrator of the FAA since 2003.

Sturgell has been a pilot in both civilian and military capacities. He graduated from the United States Naval Academymarker in 1982 and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law Schoolmarker. He served as an instructor for the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School before retiring as a Commander, having flown the F-14, F-16, and F-18.

After his military career, he became a flight operations supervisor and line pilot for United Airlines, flying Boeing 757 and 767 on domestic and international routes. He also practiced aviation law in the Washington, D.C.marker area, and served as senior policy adviser at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

In 1998, Sturgell attempted to unseat Maryland Senate majority leader Democrat Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. in the 27th legislative district. He was defeated 69% to 31%.

On February 10, 2008 two Democratic United States Senators blocked the nomination of Robert Sturgell citing dissatisfaction with FAA Safety oversight and the agency's handling of claims of under staffing of air traffic controllers. This procedural maneuver prevented the full Senate from voting on the appointment. Although Sturgell blamed the Block on the NY/NY/PHL Airspace Redesign, Senator Lautenberg of NJ had more pointed concerns.

Senator Lautenberg, said in a subsequent press release "Mr. Sturgell helped create the policies that left our air traffic controllers overworked and understaffed, our runways in dangerous condition, more air noise on our communities and the worst flight delays in our history. It's time for President Bush to nominate an Administrator who solves transportation problems, rather than creating more of them."


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