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Airborne-Unlimited-07.10.24 HOLIDAY


Tue, Apr 25, 2023

NBAA Boss Praises Outgoing Billy Nolen

For a Job Well Done ….

National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen extended his appreciation to Acting Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Billy Nolen for his outstanding service to the aviation industry. Bolen’s comments follow the sad news that Mr. Nolen intends to leave the agency later this year.

Speaking on 21 April 2023 to the subject of Nolen’s excellent exercising of the FAA Administrator’s duties, Mr. Bolen stated: “Billy Nolen has stepped in and provided essential leadership at a critical time for our industry. As acting administrator, he has been an effective collaborator, always accessible to everyone and intensely focused on safety. We are grateful for his leadership and look forward to working with him through his transition, and as he embarks on the next chapter in his remarkable story.”

Billy Nolen is a former U.S. Army fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter pilot. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and specialized aviation safety management certificates from the University of Southern California, U.S. Army Safety Center, and the U.S. Navy Postgraduate School.

His military flying days behind him, Mr. Nolen joined American Airlines in 1989. Over the following 26-years, he served the air-carrier in both line-pilot and safety program manager capacities. Mr. Nolen holds type ratings in Boeing’s 757/767 and McDonnell Douglas’s MD-80.

In 2015, Nolen took a position with Airlines for America (A4A), serving as the organization’s senior vice-president of safety, security, and operations until 2018, when he joined Qantas Group as executive manager for group safety and health. Nolen left Qantas in February 2020 and journeyed to Calgary, where he joined WestJet, serving as the air-carrier’s vice-president of safety, security, and quality. In December 2021, Mr. Nolen threw-in with the FAA, taking over as the agency’s associate administrator for aviation safety on 01 January 2022.

On 16 February 2022, then FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson announced he would resign from the post effective 31 March. On 26 March, the FAA announced Nolen had been named the agency’s Acting Administrator pending the Biden administration’s nomination of a permanent successor to the office.

Nolen was a featured speaker at the 2022 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), joining European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) executive director Patrick Ky for the show’s opening day keynote session, in which the two discussed shared priorities for trans-Atlantic business aviation.

On 15 March 2023, following a protracted string of domestic aviation safety incidents—several of which involved runway incursions and emergent traffic conflicts at major U.S. airports—Mr. Nolen convened a summit for purpose of identifying means by which to enhance the safety of flight within the U.S. National Airspace System. The event was attended by upwards of two-hundred safety leaders representing aviation industry sectors such as Part 121 commercial airlines, Part 135 air-carriers, aircraft and aero-engine OEMs, trade groups, avionics and technology concerns, air traffic controllers, and key FAA personnel.



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