U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao on Friday named the FAA’s Deputy Administrator Daniel K. Elwell to serve as Acting FAA Administrator now that Michael Huerta’s term has ended. Elwell assumed the Deputy role in June 2017. If asked to serve permanently and if approved by the Senate, Elwell’s term would last five years.
While Elwell’s predecessor Michael Huerta was not a pilot, the new Acting Administrator spent 16 years as a pilot for American Airlines on the DC-10, MD-80, and B-757/767 aircraft. While an MD80 captain, he also served as managing director for international and government affairs at American. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Elwell retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel with more than 6,000 hours of combined civilian and military flight time in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserve, including combat service during Operation Desert Storm.
The new Acting Administrator previously served as FAA Assistant Administrator for Policy, Planning and Environment from 2006-2008. From 2013 to 2015, Elwell was senior vice president for safety, security and operations at Airlines for America (A4A). Elwell was also vice president of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) from 2008-2013.
Elwell’s elevation to Acting Administrator means Carl Burleson, FAA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy, International, and Environment, will perform the duties of Acting Deputy Administrator, while Tina Amereihm, FAA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Information and Technology becomes the agency’s Chief of Staff.