Archer Aviation Picks Billy Nolen as New Chief Safety Officer

Former acting FAA Administrator is tasked with helping the company through the eVTOL-certification process.

Former acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen has joined eVTOL startup Archer Aviation. [Courtesy: Archer Aviation]

Archer Aviation Inc. (NYSE: ACHR) on Tuesday announced the appointment of former acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen as the company’s chief safety officer. 

The eVTOL startup said Nolen’s aviation experience and expertise will bolster its effort to broadly commercialize urban air mobility.

“Billy is an incredible leader and has long been a staunch supporter of the eVTOL aircraft industry, spearheading our country’s and the FAA’s global leadership role in this important area,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s founder and CEO. “Together, we will shape the future of transportation and make sustainable, efficient air travel a reality.”

The company said Nolen has been an advocate for eVTOL aircraft and worked on preparations for integrating eVTOLS in the national airspace while at the FAA. In his new role, Nolen will help Archer “more effectively collaborate with industry stakeholders” as it moves toward its planned commercializing eVTOL operations in 2025.

“I’m honored to join Archer Aviation, a true visionary at the forefront of revolutionizing urban air mobility,” Nolen said. “The commercialization of eVTOL aircraft is no longer a question of ‘if,’ but rather ‘when,’ and after careful consideration and assessing the competitive landscape, I joined Archer because I believe its approach to designing for certification and only developing the key enabling technologies necessary for eVTOL aircraft is the right recipe for success.”

Nolen received a bachelor’s degree in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and holds specialized aviation safety management certificates from the University of Southern California, United States Army Safety Center, and the United States Navy Postgraduate School. He also is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a U.K.-based professional institution dedicated to the aviation and aerospace industries.

He served tours of duty flying airplanes and helicopters in the U.S. Army and was a pilot with American Airlines. He later held a number of safety-related posts with WestJet Airlines, Qantas Airways, Airlines for America, and American Airlines. 

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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