Airlines for America Names Veteran Aviation Counsel Francis C. Heil as Managing Director, Safety

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2016 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today named Francis C. Heil to the role of Managing Director of Safety.

Heil brings more than 25 years of legal, regulatory and aviation experience to the role, having held senior positions with both American Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration. Most recently, Heil served as senior counsel at Silverberg Goldman, L.L.P., where he represented large and regional air carriers before the Department of Transportation, the FAA and other government entities. While at American Airlines, he provided counsel to the Safety, Operations, Maintenance and Engineering departments and served as senior legal advisor to the team responsible for handling the merger and integration of American Airlines and US Airways’ FAA operating authorities into a single operating certificate.

After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, M.D., Heil served in the U.S. Navy for more than 20 years as a Naval Aviator retiring as captain.  He is a member of the American Bar Association and U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association.

“Fran’s impressive background in aviation safety and the wealth of institutional knowledge he has about our industry, members and the government entities we work closely with made him the perfect choice for this position,” said Capt. Billy Nolen, A4A Senior Vice President of Safety, Security and Operations. “We look forward to having him join A4A and build upon our work to help shape crucial policies and measures that promote safety, security and a healthy U.S. airline industry.”

At A4A, Heil will be responsible for interacting with A4A members and industry stakeholders such as the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board. Heil will also provide support and strategic direction to the association’s Safety Council and will provide industry leadership to the cooperative government-industry Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST), Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) system, and will assist members in building upon their positive safety cultures and developing standard operating procedures to address changing regulatory requirements.

Heil will report to A4A’s Vice President of Operations and Safety Paul McGraw.

“I am eager to join A4A and be a part of the industry’s efforts to enhance and further promote the strong safety record that exists within aviation today,” said Heil.


Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. U.S. airlines fly 2.4 million passengers and more than 58,000 tons of cargo each day. Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.

A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor, Congress, the Administration and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.

For more information about the airline industry, visit our website and our blog, A Better Flight Plan, at

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