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March 19, 2019

President Trump once reportedly considered nominating his personal pilot to manage the Federal Aviation Administration.

That was a year ago, and there's still no Senate-confirmed head of the FAA. But now, amid a worldwide crisis surrounding Boeing's 737 MAX 8 planes, Trump has decided on a candidate.

Trump announced Tuesday that he's nominating former Delta Airlines official Steve Dickson to the post, with The Wall Street Journal reporting the announcement earlier in the day. Dickson has been under consideration for the job since last November, the Journal also reported at the time. No other FAA head has come directly to the job from a senior position at an airline in 30 years. The White House reportedly planned to announce Dickson's appointment earlier this month, but put it on hold as two Boeing planes crashed in similar circumstances in October and two weeks ago, industry officials tell the Journal.

There hasn't been a permanent FAA head since Michael Huerta's five-year term ended in January 2018. Former President Barack Obama had nominated Huerta to the post. Since then, Daniel Elwell, who'd served in the FAA under former President George W. Bush, has led the agency in an acting capacity but was never brought to the Senate for a formal confirmation. Kathryn Krawczyk

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