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            september 22, 2019

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Retired Delta safety veep heads FAA on GOP party line vote


Stephen Dickson, recently retired Delta vice president in charge of operations and safety, was sworn in as Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Mr Dickson, who was confirmed by the US Senate in July, comes at a time when the FAA faces the grounding of the 737 MAX and what is to be done about its recent crashes.
"Nowhere else in the world sees the volume, complexity and pace of innovation that we have in America," Mr Dickson said after being sworn in on August 12 by US Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
"Maintaining the highest levels of safety while adapting to technological advancements will be a key part of our success. I am honoured to be able to help write the next chapter in the history of the FAA."
A former US Air Force officer and F-15 fighter pilot, Dickson flew commercially as well, with experience flying the A320, B727, B737, B757 and B767. He has also served as chairman of several industry stakeholder groups and federal advisory committees.
Mr Dickson did not receive bipartisan support to be FAA administrator - he was the first FAA nominee to receive a party-line vote out of committee.
Much of the opposition was based on allegations of whistle-blower retaliation while he was a safety official at Delta. "It is clear to me that he is not the right person for the safety culture that we need today at the FAA," said Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, on the eve of his nomination.

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