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Former airline pilot named acting head of FAAFormer airline pilot named acting head of FAA

Deputy FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell was named acting head of the agency following the conclusion of Michael Huerta’s five-year term Jan. 6.

An experienced pilot, Elwell graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, flew a C-141 military cargo airplane during Operation Desert Storm, and has piloted everything from a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and DC-10 to the Boeing 757/767 in the 16 years he spent at American Airlines. Prior to serving as deputy administrator, Elwell worked for the largest airline trade group, Airlines for America.

As a top contender to run the agency, Elwell has the support of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who said, "Dan's background as a military and commercial pilot and past leadership positions in FAA and the aviation sector ensures a seamless transition to continue the important mission of the FAA.”

Photo courtesy of the FAA.

There’s no doubt Huerta’s successor will be tackling myriad controversial issues, including the continuing shift to NextGen and the increasing number of drones in the airspace.

“We look forward to working closely with Dan in his role as Acting Administrator,” said AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker. “We encourage the president to act quickly to appoint a permanent administrator so that momentum around NextGen, streamlined avionics approvals, and other important FAA work can continue unabated.”

AOPA Communications staff

Topics: Advocacy, Capitol Hill, FAA Information and Services

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