Lirio Liu Replaces Earl Lawrence At FAA Certification (Updated)


The FAA has replaced Earl Lawrence as the head of aircraft certification with Lirio Liu, who now runs the agency’s international affairs office. Lawrence has run aircraft certification for three years. Liu is an aerospace engineer and has been with the FAA since 1991. Much of that experience has been in aircraft certification and safety roles. She also headed up the Office of Rulemaking for aviation safety for seven years. She assumed her present duties in October of 2020 and will take over from Lawrence on May 8. He’s being given another role at the FAA, reportedly as Deputy Assistant Administrator for the NextGen program. The FAA has not officially announced either change.

Lawrence went to the FAA in 2010 as manager of the Small Airplane Directorate. Prior to that he had been EAA’s VP of Industry and Regulatory Affairs. He worked his way up through the FAA executive branch, taking over as Director UAS Integration Branch from 2015 until 2018 when he took over aircraft certification.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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      • I am a FORMIDABLE foe, Raf (SAC trained, don’t ya know)
        In my hands, a laptop is a weapon 🙂 🙂 🙂

        So what happened to Earl, Russ ???

        • Boeing 737 MAX Tsunami?

          FAA leadership disputes watchdog’s finding that 737 Max inspectors were underqualified, denies misleading Congress
          By Ian Duncan
          September 25, 2019

          “”Deputy FAA Administrator Daniel K. Elwell (with Earl by his side) also rejected the watchdog’s finding that his agency had misled Congress over the issue, saying that was “not what happened.”” WP

  1. Ms. Lirio Liu

    Federal Aviation Administration
    Federal Aviation Administration
    30 years 11 months

    >Executive Director, Office of International Affairs
    Oct 2020 – Present1 year 7 months Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    Responsible for the development of international policy and provides guidance across the various disciplines of the FAA and is also responsible for the FAA’s international offices in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

    >Executive Director, Office of Operational Safety, Commercial Space Transportation
    Jan 2020 – Oct 202010 months Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    Responsible for ensuring the protection of the public, property, and the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States during commercial launch or reentry activities, and to encourage, facilitate, and promote U.S. commercial space transportation. Responsibilities include executive oversite of the operational requirements leading to the authorization for commercial launch operations. Directly oversaw the activities related to safety analysis and assurance, coordination of…

    >Acting Deputy Associate Administrator, Aviation Safety
    Jun 2019 – Jan 20208 months Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    Provided executive leadership to an organization of over 7,000 employees who are responsible for setting safety standards and overseeing all parts of the aviation industry — airlines, manufacturers, repair stations, pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers, flight attendants, and any person or product that operates in aviation. As the Deputy, supported the return to service activities for the Boeing 737 MAX, including detailed briefings with FAA leadership and stakeholders; participated as…

    >Executive Director, Office of Rulemaking, Aviation Safety
    Apr 2012 – Jan 20207 years 10 months Washington D.C. Metro Area

    Responsible for the Rulemaking Program for the Federal Aviation Administration. Designated Federal Officer for the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) and primary liaison for interagency coordination with Office of the Secretary of Transporation and Office of Managent and Budget on rulemaking matters. Successfully implemented the Executive Orders on Regulatory Reform with a positive cost saving to the DOT of $64Mil in the first year of implementation.

    >Deputy Regional Administrator
    Oct 2009 – Apr 20122 years 7 months Hawthorne, California

    Technical Special Assistant to the Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety
    Dec 2008 – Oct 200911 months Washington D.C. Metro Area

    >Technical Special Assistant to the Director, Aircraft Certification Service
    Aug 2008 – Dec 20085 months Washington D.C. Metro Area

    Senior Representative
    Apr 2004 – Aug 20084 years 5 months Paris Area, France

    >Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office
    Nov 2000 – Apr 20043 years 6 months Greater Seattle Area

    >Manager, Standarization Branch, Transport Standards Staff
    Oct 1998 – Oct 20002 years 1 month Renton, Washington, United States

    >Program Manager, International Branch, Transport Standards Staff
    Sep 1997 – Oct 19981 year 2 months Renton, Washington, United States

    Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office
    Jun 1991 – Sep 19976 years 4 months

    Universtity of Texas Arlington Graphic
    Universtity of Texas Arlington
    Bachelor’s degreeAerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
    1988 – 1991

    California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach Graphic
    California State University, Long Beach
    Graduate Coursework towards Master’s DegreeAerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
    University of WashingtonUniversity of Washington Graphic
    University of Washington
    Graduate Coursework towards Master’s Degree Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
    Native or bilingual proficiency
    Native or bilingual proficiency
    Elementary proficiency
    Sigma Gamma Tau – National Honor Society in Aerospace Engineering
    Tau Beta Pi – National Engineering Honor Society

  2. I work on the other end of certification, under Organization Designation Authorization. I hope that doesn’t go away, and further mire the cert process. But, hey, I’ll be retiring soon.

    • Wow. That’s an incredibly racist and insensitive thing to say. Did you read the resume? She could run the FAA with that experience.

    • Fellas, I have to agree with this guy. Both minority women are over-educated, over-experienced and over-qualified for merely government work. Something does seem out-of-balance with the qualifications process.

  3. Of course, this will restart the clock on the GAMI fuel. The vegetable oil thing may actually be a thing. Is the FAA afraid some nutter will blame them for not taking this opportunity to insist our fleet run on pixie dust and cancel them all for approving a lead free fuel?

    Recently I saw a seminar showing the parts of the world where wind and solar energy were most likely carbon positive versus natural gas. It’s most of Europe, lol. I’ve become convinced the quickest way to reduce carbon output is to start repealing laws. We should test every law passed since 1900 for carbon production. Most of them have Marxist roots and are simply creating inefficiencies.

    • “Would you like fries with that?”

      How many MILLION little paper envelopes of French fries need to be cooked, to provide enough soiled oil to fly ONE B-777 from LA to London? Who is going to collect this golden grease, and how?

      Do these advocates have ANY idea how stupid they appear to be? Really.
      It’s “UN-sustainable.”

      • Practicality has nothing to do with it. It’s about politics and theater. We are a tiny minority that make big news. (Everyone here knows my thoughts on why we are such a tiny minority so I’ll leave out that usual rant). So, it costs the rage machine types nothing to attack us while they get lots of attention from fighting to make us green. They don’t want to attack mom’s three row SUV because mom’s are legion and fight back.

        Isn’t this the world of the modern bureaucrat? No one cares whether we all get grounded really. They just don’t.

        I’m just trying to come up with reasons they keep saying “No”, so that something can be done about it. Seems a thing needing doing. Who here trusts them to tell us the truth?

    • Good point on a “carbon test,” Eric. Since the Administration is now threatening (or maybe directing) to have every entity self-assess their carbon footprint, let it all begin WITH the Government! What’s good for the goose is also good for the gander … no ?? And while we’re at it, lets demand that the White House and Congress power up their buildings with solar and wind energy with a pixie dust backup to get themselves off the grid, too.

      • Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the White House roof in 1979.
        Ronald Reagan removed them.
        Barack Obama put the solar panels back on the White House roof in 2010.
        George W. Bush installed solar panels on a maintenance structure in 2003.
        Trump tried but failed to have all panels removed.

        There are also multiple plans in the works for the White House to become water neutral, meaning no water on the property is wasted, and also plans exist for banning bottled water to lower plastic use, to install a compost system to lower landfill waste and fertilize the landscaping, and ceiling fans that would circulate cooler air, making temperatures less reliant on HVAC.

        With its constant traffic and security concerns, and the residence having six stories with 147 windows, 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, eight staircases and three elevators, and needing the co-operation of dozens of federal agency’s to sign off on the extended project…the ‘pixie dust’ mockery looks completely out-of-touch with reality.

  4. Thanks for the additional clarification on where Earl went, Russ. “Assistant Deputy” … So the Deputy Administrator of NextGen him/herself has an ‘assistant?’ No doubt at SES pay rates? Can he do that working from home in his basement? Just yesterday, a friend who’s husband is an FAA Ops inspector type told me that her husband had to go into the FSDO office for the first time in TWO YEARS !!! Up north, I have a neighbor who is a DOT Highway Safety Inspector; he is working from home, too. Helluva deal if you can wiggle into it. I wonder who’s paying for all this … “OH!” Never mind … And while we’re at it … I thought NextGen was now codified as of 1 Jan 2020? Are they gonna spring more regulations on us now ?? The Peter Principal is apparently still hard at work, I see.