FAA Administrator Steve Dickson resigns

The senior government official who directly oversees the airlines has just resigned, about halfway through his five-year term.

Steve Dickson resigns March 31, 2022

Effective March 31, 2022, Steve Dickson will step down as administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Dickson was appointed to this position in August 2019 by Donald Trump. The 64-year-old has spent most of his career at Delta. He worked for the Atlanta-based airline for nearly three decades as a pilot, and at the end of his career with the airline served as senior vice president of flight operations for Delta.

Dickson said he was stepping down to spend more time with his family:

“Over the past few years, my family has been a tremendous source of encouragement, strength and support. Nevertheless, after sometimes long and inevitable periods of separation from my loved ones during the pandemic, it is time to devote all my time and attention to them. As I wrote in my letter to President Biden, it’s time to go home.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the following about Dickson’s resignation:

“Steve has been the FAA’s steady and capable captain, and his tenure has been marked by an unwavering commitment to the FAA’s safety mission and the 45,000 employees who work tirelessly every day to fulfill it. We are grateful for his years of service to our country and his lifelong dedication to ensuring that our aviation system is the best and safest in the world. While Steve will be missed by all of us at USDOT as a leader and as a colleague, we are very happy for him and his wife, Janice, as they embark on this next chapter together.

Steve Dickson’s legacy at the FAA

There’s no denying that Dickson served in the FAA during one of the toughest times for the aviation industry:

  • Dickson began his role as FAA Administrator just months after the 737 MAX grounded, leading to one of the biggest scandals for Boeing and the FAA’s aircraft certification process; the jet returned to the sky under his watch
  • Dickson was in his role during the pandemic, which has been a difficult time for airlines and air traffic controllers
  • With the rise in passenger misbehavior during the pandemic, Dickson attempted to create policies to punish passengers for misbehavior (although the FAA could do little without help from other agencies)
  • Dickson was in charge of the FAA during the recent 5G airline drama, which thankfully didn’t have catastrophic impacts, but it was a fight against time.

I would say Dickson has a reasonably good legacy at the FAA, despite the FAA’s tarnished reputation before him, considering what happened to how Boeing and the FAA worked together on the initial certification of the 737 MAX .

At the end of the line

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson resigns on March 31, 2022. He has been with the FAA since August 2019, overseeing the recertification of the 737 MAX and the pandemic, which has been a turbulent time for the aviation industry. I’m curious to see who is chosen to replace Dickson.

What do you think of Dickson’s legacy at the FAA?

Comments are closed.