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Trump nominates former Delta executive to lead federal aviation authority

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-03-20 08:24

A woman walks over a carpet into the headquarters of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Washington, DC, US, March 13, 2019. [Photo/IC]

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump has chosen, Stephen Dickson, a former Air Force pilot and executive for Delta Air Lines, to be the head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the White House announced on Tuesday.

Trump is planning to nominate Dickson, who oversaw flight operations at Delta, to be the FAA administrator for a term of five years and to be the chairman of the Air Traffic Services Committee under the Department of Transportation.

Dickson must be confirmed by the Senate. Daniel Elwell is overseeing the FAA on an acting basis.

The nomination comes amid growing scrutiny over the FAA's approval of Boeing 737 Max jets.

French aviation investigators said Monday there were "clear similarities" in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 earlier this month and a Lion Air jet last year.

Earlier Tuesday, Elaine Chao, the US transportation secretary, sent a memo to the department's inspector general, formalizing a request for an audit of the FAA's certification of the Boeing planes.

Boeing said in a statement that it will fully cooperate in the audit.

Dickson retired from Delta as senior vice president of flight operations last year.

In the role, Dickson was responsible for the safety and operational performance of Delta's global flight operations, as well as pilot training, crew resources, crew scheduling, and regulatory compliance.

He also flew in line operations as an A320 captain, and previously flew the B727, B737, B757, and B767 during his career. The White House called him "a strong advocate for commercial aviation safety."

A former US Air Force officer, Dickson is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and F-15 fighter pilot.

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