Trump Taps Steve Dickson as New FAA Head After Ethiopia Plane Crash

President Trump plans to nominate Steve Dickson, a former senior Delta Air Lines official, as the permanent head of the Federal Aviation Administration, the White House announced Tuesday. According to The Wall Street Journal, the decision to replace acting chief Daniel Elwell—considered an aviation expert and an ally of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao—comes as the FAA faces scrutiny for its handling of recent crashes of Boeing 737 MAX planes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. While a number of countries grounded the planes after the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier this month, the FAA maintained that the planes were safe and kept them in-use. The planes were only grounded after Trump issued an “emergency order” to do so. The agency is also reportedly involved in a probe by the Transportation Department's Inspector General's office, which is looking into how the Boeing 737 planes were “certified to fly passengers.” In a statement earlier this week, the agency claimed the plane “followed the FAA’s standard certification process” and said the process “consistently produced safe aircraft designs.”