Daniel K. Elwell

Daniel K. Elwell, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration

Daniel K. Elwell is the Acting Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In this capacity, he is responsible for the safety and efficiency of the largest aerospace system in the world – a system that operates more than 50,000 flights per day. He oversees a $16.4 billion budget, more than 47,000 employees, and is focused on ensuring the agency and its employees are the best prepared and trained professionals to meet the growing demands and requirements of the industry. Mr. Elwell also oversees the FAA’s multi-billion dollar NextGen air traffic control modernization program as the US shifts from ground-based radar to state-of-the-art satellite technology.

Prior to serving as Acting Administrator, Mr. Elwell was the Deputy Administrator of the FAA. President Trump announced the appointment of Mr. Elwell as the Deputy Administrator in June 2017 and he was sworn into office on June 26, 2017.

Elwell previously served at the FAA as the Assistant Administrator for Policy, Planning, and Environment from 2006-2008. Most recently, he was Senior Advisor on Aviation to US Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. Earlier in his career, he served as a legislative fellow for the late Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).

From 2013-2015, as Senior Vice President for Safety, Security, and Operations at Airlines for America (A4A), Elwell was responsible for leading the advancement of commercial aviation safety and security excellence for major US air carriers.

Prior to A4A, Elwell was Vice President of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) from 2008-2013. In this role, Elwell represented civil aerospace manufacturers and led policy development and advocacy for the civil aerospace manufacturing interests of more than 300 AIA member companies. 

Elwell was a commercial pilot for 16 years with American Airlines, flying DC-10, MD-80, and B-757/767 aircraft. While maintaining his proficiency as an MD-80 Captain, he served as Managing Director for International and Government Affairs at American Airlines.

Dan earned his pilot wings at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona after graduating from the US Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs. Lieutenant Colonel Elwell retired from military service as a Command Pilot with more than 6,000 hours combined civilian and military flight time in the US Air Force and US Air Force Reserve, including combat service during Operation Desert Storm.