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Acting Administrator Nolen to Depart FAA by Mid-Summer
Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen last week announced that he would be leaving the agency by mid-summer, again opening a leadership position at the top of the FAA as a number of crucial issues take center stage for the aviation community.
Nolen has served as acting administrator for the past year after the resignation of former FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. Nolen had joined the agency just a few months prior, in January 2022, as head of aviation safety.
As acting administrator, Nolen attended EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022 and the fly-in’s annual “Meet The Administrator” session. Among other items at Oshkosh this past summer, he emphasized the importance of completing the MOSAIC (Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificates) initiative and the priority of meeting the 2030 deadline for an unleaded aviation fuel to be widely available for the general aviation fleet. He also noted the uniqueness of AirVenture as a place where all facets of aviation were present and where it was important that the FAA be present to address numerous issues with aviators.
“This is a mecca. I know for many of you this is a pilgrimage to come here every year to see the best of the best of aviation — past, present, and future,” Nolen said last July. “I’ve been in aviation for more than four decades, and this is my first time at AirVenture. But it will not be my last time at AirVenture, I can promise you that. I’ve never seen anything like this. What a tribute to aviation.”
Nolen’s departure leaves a leadership gap at a critical time, as FAA reauthorization is due this year. EAA and other GA organizations have submitted possible inclusions for the reauthorization, which is important to provide stability and consistency for the nation’s aviation community.
“Billy Nolen is a person who took the time to come to Oshkosh and listened to our perspective and our concerns, and we found him a person dedicated to aviation safety and progress,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety. “While the nomination and Senate confirmation of a new administrator may follow an unknown timeline, it is absolutely essential that the FAA continues its commitment to bring top leadership to Oshkosh each year to meet face-to-face with their stakeholders, both in the aviation industry and among pilots nationwide.”