Updated Feb 17, 2022 - Economy & Business

FAA chief who dealt with 5G and Boeing crashes fallout resigning

Steve Dickson, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), speaks during a Senate hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021.

Steve Dickson, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, speaks during a Senate hearing in Washington, D.C., in November. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Steve Dickson announced on Wednesday he will step down on March 31.

Why it matters: Since Dickson became FAA chief in 2019, the agency has imposed a zero-tolerance policy on unruly airline passengers and deployed AT&T and Verizon's C-Band 5G service. He also oversaw the return of Boeing's 737 MAX jets after two fatal crashes, for which the FAA drew criticism from Congress.

Driving the news: "After sometimes long and unavoidable periods of separation from my loved ones during the pandemic, it is time to devote my full time and attention to them," Dickson wrote in an email to FAA staff that was shared with news outlets, including Axios.

The big picture: Dickson became FAA administrator in August 2019 after being nominated by then-President Trump to a five-year term.

What they're saying: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an emailed statement that he's grateful for Dickson's years of service.

  • His "tenure has been marked by steadfast commitment to the FAA’s safety mission and the 45,000 employees who work tirelessly every day to fulfill it," Buttigieg added.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of key moments during Dickson's tenure.

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