White House nominates former airline executive Stephen Dickson as Federal Aviation Administration chief

A worker is pictured next to a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane on the tarmac at the Boeing factory in Renton, Washington.
A worker is pictured next to a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane on the tarmac at the Boeing factory in Renton, Washington.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) - Stephen Dickson, a former Delta Air Lines executive, was nominated by the White House to become the permanent head of the Federal Aviation Administration, an agency facing scrutiny after two deadly crashes in less than five months.

Dickson was chosen amid intensifying calls worldwide for the FAA to explain its approval of the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane, the jet involved in the disasters.

Earlier this month, an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed, killing 157 people.

Dickson retired as Delta's senior vice-president of flight operations this fall after 27 years at the company.

He is a former US Air Force officer, Air Force Academy graduate and F-15 fighter pilot, according to Delta.

The FAA has been run by Daniel Elwell, the acting administrator, since January 2018.

Previously, he was the agency's deputy administrator and was appointed to the role by President Donald Trump in June 2017.

In the past, Trump toyed with the idea of naming his personal pilot, John Dunkin, to the top FAA position.