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Fri, Jun 09, 2023

FAA Rumors: Polly Trottenberg Next Interim Head

Billy Nolen Moving on to Greener Pastures

Washington, D.C. gossip has swirled as of late, with reports that acting FAA administrator Billy Nolen will be replaced by Deputy US Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg -- but again, in an acting capacity..

Nolen reportedly told staff he would be leaving the administration partway through June, with gossip pointing to a position with AAM company Archer Aviation. In Spring, Nolen had acknowledged his plans to move on from the agency when the White House nominated a new administrator, but capitol intrigue has continued to postpone the installation of a permanent chief. For a time, it seemed that Denver Airport CEO Phil Washington would be the man for the job, only for him to withdraw his nomination after a flurry of criticism over his somewhat lackluster aviation experience (Los Angeles contracting investigation aside, Washington spent the majority of his career overseeing rail and ground transit, only entering the aeronautical scene with his Denver job in 2021). 

Nolen’s plans to stick his post-FAA landing seem to have been set into motion regardless, though the company has not yet confirmed his hiring. Archer Aviation’s recent strides in bringing their Midnight closer to certification have made it one of the more promising options in the EVTOL scene.

Deputy secretary Trottenberg served as transportation commissioner of New York City from 2014 to 2020, where she focused on bringing pedestrian fatalities down. She served the better part of a 10-year term on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority from 2014 until resigning in 2019. In 2020, Trottenberg was named a member of the Biden transition team inside the Department of Transportation, where she began working under DoT chief Steve Buttigieg.

FMI: www.faa.org

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