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Top FAA Safety Official Nolen to Serve as Acting FAA Administrator



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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has named Billy Nolen to serve as acting FAA Administrator after FAA Administrator Steve Dickson departs at the end of March. Deputy Administrator Bradley Mims will also take on an expanded role during this interim period, focusing on the FAA’s workforce and the nation’s airports.

Nolen is an experienced aviation safety professional and former airline captain. He has been the FAA’s Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety since January, where he has led a team of more than 7,600 employees who oversee all aspects of aviation safety.

“Billy Nolen has extensive expertise in aviation and a deep understanding of the vital role the FAA plays in ensuring the safety of the traveling public,” said U.S Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We are grateful to Steve for his service and to Billy and Brad for stepping up to lead the FAA during this critical time.”

Dickson announced in February that he would step down from his post as administrator after leading the agency for more than two and a half years. The Biden-Harris Administration is conducting a national search for a nominee to become the permanent FAA Administrator, a position that carries a five-year term and must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Before joining the FAA, Nolen was vice president for Safety, Security and Quality for WestJet Airlines in Canada.

Prior to his employment at WestJet, Nolen held safety leadership positions at Qantas Airways, Airlines for America and American Airlines. He began his professional career in 1989 as a pilot for American, earning type ratings on Boeing 757, 767 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft. He later managed the carrier’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) and rose through the management ranks to become the airline’s managing director for corporate safety and regulatory affairs.