Biden to appoint acting FAA chief with no airline industry experience: Report

Daily Caller News Foundation

President Joe Biden’s expected new interim administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lacks airline experience.

Deputy U.S. Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg is likely to temporarily head the FAA to replace outgoing acting administrator Billy Nolen, who’s expected to resign in the coming days, according to The Wall Street Journal. Trottenberg’s record is largely focused on ground transportation and pedestrian traffic, and lacks significant airline experience, according to her DOT page.

Trottenberg serves under Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. She was formerly the assistant transportation secretary for President Barack Obama and former transportation commissioner for New York City, according to her page.

Current and previous FAA administrators and nominees had aviation backgrounds, with former Biden-pick Nolen being a former pilot and airline executive. Steve Dickson, a Trump-appointee who stepped down as FAA administrator in March 2022, worked for Delta Airlines for decades. Phil Washington, Biden’s most recent nominee to head the FAA who withdrew in late March, was the CEO of Denver International Airport.

Washington was originally nominated in July 2022 and was renominated in January after the Senate failed to act on the confirmation process. He faced stiff GOP opposition in the confirmation process, where Washington was questioned on his lack of aviation experience other than his work at the Denver airport.

The FAA has been operating under temporary leadership without a Senate-confirmed appointee since Dickson resigned. Pressure for the Biden administration to appoint a full-time leader has ramped up as airports have notably undergone issues like mass flight cancellations and plane collisions since Dickerson’s departure last year.

Neither the White House nor the Transportation office immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment, and the FAA referred the DCNF to the White House for comment.

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