Trump to nominate ex-Delta pilot Steve Dickson as FAA head

With the Federal Aviation Administration facing mounting scrutiny domestically and overseas, the White House said it plans to nominate Steve Dickson, a former senior Delta Air Lines official, as permanent head of the agency.

The pick comes as the FAA is struggling to regain its footing after two deadly crashes of Boeing 737 MAX jetliners within five months, tragedies that have prompted questions about the agency’s safety approvals of the models.

Dickson couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Since January 2018 the FAA has been run by acting chief Daniel Elwell, a longtime aviation expert who moved up from deputy administrator and is widely viewed as a close ally of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The FAA is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In addition to continuing scrutiny of the FAA's decision-making by the Transportation Department's inspector general’s office, Secretary Chao on Tuesday also asked the same office to conduct an audit compiling "an objective and detailed factual history of the activities that resulted in the certification of the Boeing 737-MAX." The latest effort, she said in a written statement, is intended to "assist the FAA in ensuring that its safety procedures are implemented effectively."

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