Dan Elwell has been sworn in as the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new deputy administrator. Appointed by President Donald Trump, Elwell is the second highest-ranking official at the agency (under administrator Michael Huerta).
Elwell, a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, has been serving as the senior advisor on aviation to Elaine Chao, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. From 2006 to 2008, he served as FAA assistant administrator for policy, planning and environment.
Before returning to public service, Elwell was president and managing partner of Elwell and Associates, an aviation consulting firm. He was also senior vice president for safety, security and operations at Airlines For America and vice president at the Aerospace Industries Association.
According to the FAA, Elwell returns to the agency during a historic period of safety and change as air traffic control reform is being considered to speed airspace modernization and new entrants like drones and commercial spacecraft are integrated into the airspace system.
“Dan’s insight and experience will serve the FAA and public well,” states Huerta. “He has a strong background as a military and civilian pilot, as well as holding key leadership positions within the aerospace industry.”
Former deputy administrator Michael Whitaker (who, back in 2015, was the one to confirm the FAA’s timeline for issuing its Part 107 rulemaking) was appointed by President Barack Obama to fill the position in 2013 but left the post in mid-2016. Victoria Wassmer, the agency’s assistant administrator for finance and management, then served as acting deputy administrator.