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U.S. aviation chief resigns after drunk driving arrest


14:13, December 07, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The administrator of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Randy Babbitt resigned on Tuesday following his drunk driving arrest.

In a brief statement, Babbitt said he submitted his resignation to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and it has been accepted.

"Serving as FAA Administrator has been an absolute honor and the highlight of my professional career," he said. "But I am unwilling to let anything cast a shadow on the outstanding work done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by my colleagues at the FAA."

The FAA is part of the Department of Transportation. It has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S.

Babbitt was arrested Saturday night in Fairfax, Virginia, and charged with driving while intoxicated after a police officer spotted him driving on the wrong side of the road, according to a police statement. He was the only occupant in the vehicle and no accident occurred.

On Monday, LaHood's office said in a statement that Babbitt was placed on a leave of absence.

Babbitt, 65, was tapped by President Barack Obama to take on the job in 2009. He had been a pilot flying for the now-defunct Eastern Airlines for 25 years.


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