John H. Shaffer

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John H. Shaffer
John Hixon Shaffer.jpg
United States
Federal Aviation Administrator
In office
March 24, 1969 – March 14, 1973
Preceded by William F. McKee
Succeeded by Alexander Butterfield
Personal details
Born John Hixon Shaffer
(1919-02-25)February 25, 1919
Everett, Pennsylvania
Died September 14, 1997(1997-09-14) (aged 78)
Frederick, Maryland
Spouse(s) Joan Van Week (m. 1943)
Alma mater United States Military Academy (1943)
Air Force Institute of Technology (1945)
Columbia University

John Hixon Shaffer (February 25, 1919 – September 14, 1997) was an administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration from March 24, 1969 until March 14, 1973.[1]

Most notably, he was the administrator during an en-masse calling-in sick strike of air traffic controllers during 1969. In the summer of that year, Shaffer himself testified in front of a congressional committee, reporting that air traffic controllers were neither overworked nor underpaid.[2] Shaffer's testimony, coupled with increased pressure on individual controllers to return to their jobs, Francis Lee Bailey of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization stated "This guy Shaffer has got to go."[3] The FAA and Shaffer were both later attacked by the PATCO for continuing to operate despite the low number of air traffic controllers.[3]

On December 3, 1970, he testified to Conngress about aviation safety.[4]

Following his retirement from his position in the FAA, Shaffer was involved in the ongoing debate over both the inclusion of Microwave landing systems in civil aviation during 1978 and to whom the contract for construction of such devices should be awarded, American, British or German companies. Shaffer himself agreed with British assessments that the American manufactured MLS system was inferior and poorly tested.[5]



Government offices
Preceded by
William F. McKee
Federal Aviation Administrator
Succeeded by
Alexander Butterfield