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Biden names deputy transportation secretary as new acting FAA chief

Polly Trottenberg will be replacing acting FAA administrator Billy Nolen, who announced his plans to resign in April.
Polly Trottenberg at West Side Yard gate in New York
Polly Trottenberg at West Side Yard gate in New York, on Jan. 31.Lev Radin / Sipa USA via AP file

Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg will serve as the next acting Federal Aviation Administration administrator, the White House announced Thursday. She currently works with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on "leadership and strategic vision" for their department, according to her DOT biography page.

The high ranking Transportation Department official previously served in the Obama administration and as New York City's Transportation Commissioner.

Trottenberg will replace acting FAA administrator Billy Nolen, who announced in April that he would be stepping down this summer, writing in a letter to colleagues that "it is time for a new captain to guide the FAA."

"I leave the FAA knowing the agency is in good hands," Nolen said in a video statement posted Wednesday. "My successor will lead with integrity and passion for our safety mission, and I know that you will provide the new acting administrator with the same support that you provided me."

Nolen was appointed in April 2022 following the resignation of his predecessor Stephen Dickson as the FAA fought criticism for its oversight of Boeing.

"Billy is a tremendous leader, a true expert, and a dedicated public servant," Buttigieg said in a statement following Nolen's resignation announcement. "He has kept safety as the FAA’s north star through one of the most complex periods in modern aviation."