Key Addition Announced for Senior FAA political position: great pick

dan elwell faa deputy administrator
Share this article: FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Dan Elwell

Great Pick for FAA Deputy Administrator

Kudos to Secretary Chao (and her adviser, Shirley Ybarra) for an excellent selection of Dan Elwell as the next FAA Deputy Administrator. Subject to Senate Advice and Consent, Dan will be the Trump Administration’s highest ranking political appointment at 600 Independence until January 2018. Most importantly, this nomination signifies that Secretary Chao has the power to select technically competent executives for the FAA and not the chief pilot of President Trump’s B-757 as feared.

Query: will he move across the conference room one office west in 2018?

Dan’s experience makes him so well suited for this position. He has previously held a senior job at the FAA, has worked for an airline, has represented both manufacturers and airlines as an association executive and is a pilot. He understands how the government works; so, Dan can effectively manage the thousands of career employees at the FAA. The work with associations gives him perspectives as to the interface between stakeholders and the regulator as well as the influence which Congress exerts. His years as a pilot will assist him in discerning between NextGen’s needs and wants as well as determining priorities.

Below is some background information about the Deputy Administrator—designate:


President and Managing Partner
Elwell & Associates LLC

An aviation consulting and advocacy firm specializing in a broad array of domestic and international aviation legislative and regulatory policy issues impacting manufacturers and operators. Services include consultation and advocacy in the areas of aviation certification and operations standards, regulatory compliance and assistance with government engagement at all levels.

Senior Vice President for Safety, Security & Operations
Airlines for America

U.S. airline industry representative in Washington, DC responsible for leading the advancement of commercial aviation safety and security excellence while focusing on system operational efficiency

Vice President
Aerospace Industries Association

Responsible for policy development and advocacy for all civil aerospace manufacturing interests of more than 300 member companies. Represented civil aerospace manufacturers on boards and consortia in the U.S. and abroad.

Assistant Administrator for Aviation Policy, Planning and Environment

Responsible for the development of U.S. civil aviation policy and planning. Lead FAA executive for aviation emissions and noise policy.

Managing Director, International and Government Affairs
American Airlines

Worked in American Airlines Washington Government Affairs office while maintaining proficiency as a Captain with the company. Represented American Airlines’ position on U.S. bilateral and multi-lateral aviation negotiations; international dispute resolution; and international alliances.


United States Air Force Academy
B.S., International Relations and Affairs
Activities and Societies: Debate Team

Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University Capitol Hill Fellowship Program


dan elwell jda aerobio

Today’s AeroBio Is Dan Elwell, A4A’s Senior Vice President, Safety, Security And Operations

By Sandy Murdock, Nov 1, 2013

Dan Elwell 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:

dan elwell faa pilotQ: 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


Administration Appoints Dan Elwell as Deputy FAA Administrator
Share this article: FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

1 Comment on "Key Addition Announced for Senior FAA political position: great pick"

  1. Only the President knows who will be the top pick. I’m sure it will be someone who will work well with the President’s agenda.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.