Airlines for America Urges Confirmation of Steve Dickson as Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration

WASHINGTON, May 14, 2019 – Nicholas E. Calio, President and CEO of Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today sent a letter to Senators Roger Wicker and Maria Cantwell, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, calling for the quick approval of the nomination of Steve Dickson to serve as the next Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“Airlines for America, the representative of the nation’s leading passenger and cargo carriers, strongly supports the nomination of Captain Steve Dickson to be the next Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). We urge the Commerce Committee to expeditiously approve his nomination so that it may then be moved to a vote on the Senate floor as quickly as possible,” wrote Calio.

“The aviation industry is a key driver of the U.S. economy and job creation, responsible for over five percent of GDP and 11 million jobs. The industry is at an inflection point. It faces both critical challenges and significant opportunities in management of the National Airspace System (NAS) as passenger travel and cargo shipments continue to grow and new entrants, new technologies and innovations need to be integrated into the system. Steve Dickson’s rich and relevant experience in aviation make him uniquely qualified to provide the vision, leadership and day-to-day management the FAA needs to meet those challenges and seize those opportunities.”

Calio noted that Mr. Dickson’s experience speaks directly to the main challenges currently facing the FAA:

  • Safety. The single most important element of the FAA’s core mission and commercial air travel is safety and ensuring aviation remains the safest mode of transportation. Captain Dickson’s record speaks for itself. He has decades of safety-focused operational and management experience as a line pilot of multiple aircraft and as the long-term head of flight operations for one of the world’s largest airlines.
  • NextGen Implementation. The airline industry relies on the FAA to improve and modernize the efficiency of the National Airspace System for passengers and shippers. There are huge challenges here, both operationally and organizationally. Mr. Dickson’s intimate familiarity with the operation of the NAS as well as his long-term involvement with, and leadership positions in, the NextGen Advisory Committee, IATA Operations Committee, the RTCA Task Force 5, and multiple other U.S. and international organizations, provide the experience and background to meet these challenges. Both at Delta and at these organizations, he has earned a strong reputation as a collaborative, transparent and non-parochial leader.
  • Innovation. New entrants such as unmanned systems and commercial space operation have the potential to outpace governance. They must be integrated without compromising system safety, Again, Captain Dickson’s broad experience and independent relationships across the industry qualify him to meet these challenges and embrace these opportunities.

“Steve Dickson’s proven record of providing vision and strong, collaborative and knowledgeable leadership qualify him to lead the Federal Aviation Administration,” Calio wrote. “Airlines for America appreciates your prompt consideration of his nomination and we look forward to continuing to work with you on behalf of our customers.”

The full letter is available here.


Airlines for America (A4A) members are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS. Air Canada is an associate member.

A4A advocates on behalf of the leading U.S. airlines, both passenger and cargo carriers. A4A works collaboratively with industry stakeholders, federal agencies, the Administration, Congress, labor and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.

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