Billy Nolen was appointed acting FAA Administrator in April 2022. Previously, Nolen served as FAA’s Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety (AVS). The Aviation Safety Organization’s programs are carried out by 7,400 employees located in Washington Headquarters, regional and directorate offices, and 125 field offices throughout the world. The AVS safety purview covers over one million registered aircraft, over one thousand approved manufacturers, over one million active pilots, and over 50,000 flights every day.
Billy has over 33 years of experience in operations and corporate safety, regulatory affairs and flight operations. He started his career as a 767, 757 and MD-80 pilot with American Airlines. His passion for operations and safety led to the role of Manager of the Pilot Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). He then became Manager of Flight Safety with responsibility for Accident/Incident Investigations, Flight Operational Quality Assurance, Line Operations Safety Audits, and oversight of the Pilot and Maintenance ASAPs.
After American Airlines, Billy served as Senior Vice President of Safety, Security and Operations with Airlines for America, where he collaborated with leaders across the airline industry, government and other key stakeholders to enhance safety and operational performance.
He subsequently served as Executive Manager of Group Safety & Health for the Qantas Group. In that capacity, Billy played a key role in the Qantas Group Safety Governance Framework and was responsible for providing assurance and advice to the Qantas Board, principally the Corporate Health, Environmental, Safety & Security Committee, the Group CEO, the Qantas Group Management Committee, and Qantas’ executive management.
Billy came to FAA from his position as Vice President of Safety, Security and Quality at WestJet in Calgary, Alberta. Reporting to the CEO, Billy had responsibility for overseeing safety, security and quality across WestJet, Encore and Swoop, 14,700 WestJet employees, and the millions of passengers flying on WestJet aircraft each year.
Billy is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he earned a BS degree in Aviation Management, and has certificates in aviation safety from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, U.S. Army Safety Center, and the University of Southern California. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAeS) and has travelled extensively across the globe.