Navigating Change: Trottenberg Ascends as Acting FAA Head

On Thursday, the US announced that Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg will take on the role of acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The decision is effective immediately, placing her in the seat vacated by Billy Nolen, who has acted as the head of the FAA since April 2022. Nolen, in April, had declared his intent to step down once a new administrator was nominated.

The President, Joe Biden, is also set to designate Katie Thomson, the present FAA chief of staff, as the new deputy administrator, taking over from Bradley Mims. Mims, in the meantime, is set to lead the Transportation Department's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

This reshuffle comes after Phil , CEO of Denver International , withdrew his nomination for FAA administrator in March, following criticism from Republicans. The has not yet announced a new nominee.

Amid a series of close-call runway incidents this year, along with a computer outage in January that resulted in the first nationwide grounding of departing passenger airliners since September 2001, this change in leadership is significant. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently probing six runway incursion events since January, some of which could have ended catastrophically.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg expressed his in Trottenberg, stating he has “full confidence in Polly's steady hand during the search for a permanent administrator.”

Trottenberg's impressive career history includes her tenure as City's transportation commissioner, a senior USDOT policy official under President Barack Obama, and an aide to Senator Charles Schumer.

Thomson, too, is no stranger to the FAA or the USDOT, having served in various roles during two presidential administrations, most recently as the director of implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Photo: Wikipedia.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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