UPDATED 8:09 AM PT — Tuesday, August 13, 2019
The new head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been officially sworn in. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao conducted the ceremony Monday for former Air Force pilot and Delta Airlines executive Stephen Dickson. This comes after the FAA had been without a confirmed administrator since January 2018.
Dickson gave an update on when Boeing’s 737 MAX jets can return to the sky. He said safety will be his highest priority moving forward, adding, the 737 MAX jetliners will not return to service until it is safe to do so.
“At this moment, an entire fleet of U.S. made aircraft is grounded due to two tragic actions overseas,” said Dickson. “My heart and my prayers go out to the families of those who perished in Indonesia and Ethiopia, and again, I want to again be clear — I’m absolutely committed that the FAA is a safety driven organization, and safety is my highest priority.”
The FAA grounded the planes back in March after two fatal crashes left hundreds of people dead. Some officials have said they believe the 737 MAX won’t be able to return to flight until early next year.