National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen issued the following statement in response to the announcement that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Stephen Dickson, who has served in his role since July 2019, will retire, effective March 31.
“Our country has been extremely fortunate to have Steve Dickson as FAA administrator during one of the most challenging periods in the history of the agency,” said Bolen.
“We thank Steve for his leadership, integrity, experience and expertise, which made a profound difference when our country needed it the most.
“His leadership on critical issues including safety, innovation, workforce and sustainability will leave an enduring legacy.”
Dickson was instrumental in the development of SFAR 118 and other initiatives to support the nation’s aviation industry during a critical period in the COVID-19 pandemic.
His tenure at the FAA began in the wake of two fatal accidents involving the newly certified Boeing 737 MAX.
As part of the agency’s approval for the airplane to return to service, Dickson personally flew the MAX to demonstrate its safety.
His tenure has been defined by a drive to continually enhance the FAA’s safety culture.
In one of his first public appearances after becoming administrator, Dickson demonstrated his eagerness to engage with business aviation stakeholders by speaking at NBAA’s National Safety Forum and Careers in Business Aviation Day during NBAA’s 2019 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE).
That spirit of engagement continued with Dickson’s participation in two NBAA Virtual Town Hall discussions, in 2020 and 2021, where he discussed various topics of importance to business aviation stakeholders throughout the ongoing pandemic, as well as programs such as the Pilot Records Database.
Most recently, Dickson was a featured keynote speaker at the 2021 edition of NBAA-BACE, where he emphasized the importance of environmental sustainability and developing aviation infrastructure to support the safe rollout of emerging technologies such as advanced air mobility and commercial spaceflight.
A former U.S. Air Force officer and F-15 fighter pilot, Dickson was named FAA administrator following an extensive career with Delta Air Lines, during which he also served as chairman of several industry stakeholder groups and federal advisory committees.