Today’s AeroBio is Dan Elwell, A4A’s Senior Vice President, Safety, Security and Operations

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Dan has moved upwards in all aspects of aviation. Starting off as a Falcon at the United States Air Force Academy and continuing in an active and reserve career in the Air Force. He then moved into the corporate world where he was a pilot and then in international and government affairs office of American Airlines. Elwell is a graduate of the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University Capitol Hill Fellowship Program, during which he served a year on the staff of the late Senator Ted Stevens.His next stint was with the FAA as a political appointee working with Administrator Blakey as her Assistant Administrator for Aviation Policy, Planning and Environment. His next move was back to the private sector where he represented the aerospace manufacturers as AIA’s Vice President of Civil Aviation. Now, Dan has returned to the Operations side where he advocates on behalf of the airlines on safety, security and operations issues before governmental agencies, including the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation Security


Q: Are you a pilot?

A: Yes

Q: What is the coolest airplane you have ever flown in?

A: That’s a tough one because all planes are “cool”. Best ride as a passenger has to be a float plane in Alaska. The coolest plane I’ve flown would have to be the Eclipse 500.

Q: Over the course of your career you have participated in a number of aviation safety projects. What do you consider to be the one project with the greatest safety impact?

A: When I worked for Senator Stevens, just about everything we did for aviation in Alaska had a great impact.  The CAPSTONE program in the Y-K Delta and the installation of real-time weather cameras at remote airfields and mountain passes were two projects that saved lives from day one.

Q: What aviation websites (other than JDA Journal) do you most frequently visit?

A: I read POLITICO Pro Transportation, Av Daily and several association news bulletins daily.

Q: What phrase or words of wisdom and the author do you cite most frequently in your aviation work?

A: “Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”  “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” (Authors unknown)

Q: Who is your favorite person in aviation history?

A: Henry “Hap” Arnold – an amazing aviator and American

Q: Which do you prefer the Paris Air Show or Oshkosh?

A: They’re apples and oranges…tough to compare. Oshkosh is for pilots; Paris is for corporations. Oshkosh is jeans and PBR; Paris is suits and champagne. They both have their own flair and place in aviation, but the pilot in me will pick Oshkosh every time.

Q: What are you reading these days for fun?

A: Killing Lincoln, by Bill O’Reilly and  A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tour, by John Feinstein

Q: What tunes are on your iPod playlist?

A: Everything from Sam Cooke to Dave Matthews with a lot of Neil Young and Tom Petty thrown in.

Q: How do you spend your leisure moments?

A: Golf and guitar

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1 Comment on "Today’s AeroBio is Dan Elwell, A4A’s Senior Vice President, Safety, Security and Operations"

  1. You make me so very proud! I love you, Mom

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