Polly Trottenberg, a veteran of the transportation sector and a senior official in the Department of Transportation, has been appointed by President Joe Biden as the acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
She took over the role from Billy Nolen, who announced his departure from the agency in April. Trottenberg has a wealth of experience in various aspects of transportation policy and management, having served as the Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy under President Barack Obama, as the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation from 2014 to 2020, and as a staff member for several U.S.
Senators and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. She has been working as the Deputy Secretary of Transportation under Secretary Pete Buttigieg since February.
As the acting head of the FAA, Trottenberg will oversee the nation’s air traffic control system, which has faced several challenges in recent months, including a shortage of controllers, a system-wide outage that grounded flights in January, and near-misses between planes. She will also be responsible for implementing safety regulations and modernizing aviation infrastructure.
The FAA has been without a permanent leader since March 2020, when Stephen Dickson resigned midway through his five-year term. Biden’s previous nominee for the position, Phil Washington, withdrew his candidacy after facing opposition from Republicans who questioned his aviation credentials. The White House said it is conducting a national search for a new nominee.