President Donald Trump has tapped former Delta Air Lines executive Steve Dickson as the new head of the Federal Aviation Administration, a nomination to an agency that is in turmoil over its approval of new type of Boeing plane that was involved in two fatal crashes in less than five months.
Trump is planning to nominate Dickson, who oversaw flight operations at Delta, to the five-year term at the helm of the FAA, the White House said Tuesday.
The nomination would come amid intense scrutiny over the FAA's approval of Boeing 737 Max 8. Investigators of an Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier this month have said they detected "clear similarities" between that flight and another fatal crash in Indonesia in October.
The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that Dickson was the White House pick and that an announcement could come as early as Tuesday.
The FAA declined to comment.
Earlier this month, multiple media reports said Dickson was expected to be named the new FAA chief. Those reports came just days before Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed and killed all 157 people on board.
Earlier Tuesday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao sent a memo to the department's inspector general, formalizing a request for an audit of the FAA's certification of the Boeing planes.
Dickson, who previously served as senior vice president of flight operations at Delta, retired from the company on Oct. 1. The executive was a 27-year veteran of the company and had previously served as a U.S. Air Force officer. Dickson is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and F-15 fighter pilot.