A report published last Friday (April 8) by British news outlet Reuters suggests that Friday’s reassignment of FAA Aircraft Certification Service Executive Director Earl Lawrence is just one part of an agency-wide management shake-up. Lawrence will reportedly become the deputy assistant administrator of the NextGen Office, which will have significant input on the development of unmanned flight, an area where he has experience as the former executive director of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office.
Lirio Liu, who will take over for Lawrence as executive director of the Aircraft Certification Service effective May 8, comes to the office with more than 30 years’ experience within the FAA as executive director for rulemaking, executive director for operational safety in the Commercial Space Transportation Office and acting deputy associate administrator for the Office of Aviation Safety. She currently serves as acting director for the Office of International Affairs, in charge of international policy within the FAA and international offices in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The seat-shuffling at 800 Independence Avenue also includes former Administrator Steve Dickson, who stepped down on March 31, to be replaced by interim Administrator Billy Nolen, who ceded his role as chief of aviation safety to Chris Rocheleau, who, himself, will be leaving the agency in June after a 20-year stint to become the chief operating officer for the National Business Aviation Association.