Stephen Dickson was sworn in by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao as the FAA’s 18th administrator on Monday. As leader of the FAA, which is responsible for a system operating more than 50,000 flights a day, Dickson will oversee the agency’s 47,000 employees and $16.4 billion-dollar budget. He is taking over from Acting Administrator Dan Elwell, who has held the position since Michael Huerta retired from the top spot in January 2018. Elwell will return to his previous role as FAA deputy administrator.
“I am honored to join the outstanding team at the Federal Aviation Administration and look forward to ensuring our aviation system maintains its proper place, leading the world in both safety and operational performance,” said Dickson. “Nowhere else in the world sees the volume, complexity and pace of innovation that we have in America. Maintaining the highest levels of safety while adapting to technological advancements will be a key part of our success.”
Dickson, a former F-15 pilot with the U.S. Air Force, recently retired from his position as senior vice president of flight operations for Delta Air Lines. During his airline career, he flew the A320, B727, B737, B757 and B767. As previously reported by AVweb, Dickson was confirmed as the next FAA Administrator by U.S. Senate vote last month. His confirmation was temporarily slowed while the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation looked into allegations that retaliatory actions may have been taken against a pilot who raised safety concerns while Dickson was in a leadership position at Delta, before voting to send his nomination on to the full Senate.