Huerta Ends FAA Term, No Replacement Named

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Michael Huerta’s five-year term as FAA administrator ended on Saturday, and so far the Trump administration has not named his replacement. Daniel Elwell, who was named as the FAA’s deputy administrator last June, will serve as acting administrator until the position is filled. Elwell was previously a senior official at Airlines for America, an airline lobbying group, from 2013-2015. He also ran his own aviation consulting firm, Elwell and Associates, in Washington, and served in the U.S. Air Force and the Air Force Reserve, including combat service during Operation Desert Storm. He flew for American Airlines for 16 years. “Dan's background as a military and commercial pilot and past leadership positions in the FAA and the aviation sector ensures a seamless transition to continue the important mission of the FAA,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, in announcing the appointment.

Officials at NBAA and NATA thanked Huerta for his service. “Michael has been a steady leader at the FAA during a time of significant change,” said NBAA President Ed Bolen. “Under his stewardship, the agency has shown demonstrable progress in implementing NextGen, to ensure America’s continued global leadership in aviation; in rewriting Part 23 certification standards to ensure the safety and affordability of small aircraft; and laying the groundwork for the safe introduction of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System. These important priorities will be among the pillars of his legacy.” NATA President Martin Hiller praised Huerta’s “commitment to building consensus around major decisions and willingness to always listen to the needs of the aviation business community.” In November, NATA recognized Huerta’s service and contributions to the aviation industry, presenting him with their Distinguished Public Service Award.

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