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Archer Aviation

Archer Midnight


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FAA administrator joins Archer as chief safety officer
Commercialisation of eVTOL aircraft is no longer a question of if but when says Billy Nolen. He backs the Midnight developer's approach to designing for certification and only developing key enabling technologies.
Archer chief safety officer Billy Nolen.

Archer Aviation, developer of the Midnight eVTOL aircraft, has appointed former acting FAA administrator Billy Nolen as its chief safety officer. Nolen's expertise in aviation safety and flight operations, along with his deep passion and excitement for advanced air mobility, will further strengthen Archer's ability to successfully commercialise urban air mobility at scale.

“Billy is an incredible leader and has long been a staunch supporter of the eVTOL aircraft industry, spearheading our country's and the FAA's global leadership role in this important area,” says founder and CEO Adam Goldstein. “Together, we will shape the future of transportation and make sustainable, efficient air travel a reality.”

While at the FAA, Nolen led the agency's efforts to enable the safe entry of eVTOL aircraft into the national airspace. Nolen has been a strong advocate for the eVTOL aircraft industry and its role in changing the way the world moves. In his new position, Nolen will play a leadership role to help Archer more effectively collaborate with industry stakeholders and help ensure its safe entry into service as it prepares for planned commercialisation in 2025.

“I'm honoured to join Archer Aviation, a true visionary at the forefront of revolutionising urban air mobility,” says Nolen. “The commercialisation of eVTOL aircraft is no longer a question of 'if', but rather 'when', and after careful consideration and assessing the competitive landscape, I joined Archer because I believe its approach to designing for certification and only developing the key enabling technologies necessary for eVTOL aircraft is the right recipe for success. I'm excited to bring my expertise as a former FAA administrator to Archer and believe its dedication to safety, innovation and commercialisation aligns perfectly with my own values and aspirations.”

While serving as the acting administrator at the FAA, from April 2022 to June 2023, Nolen led certification reform and new safety management systems for airports. Prior to that, he was the associate administrator of aviation safety for the FAA, which covers more than one million registered aircraft, more than one million active pilots, thousands of approved manufacturers and over 50,000 flights every day. He has more than 33 years of experience in corporate safety, regulatory affairs and flight operations. Nolen started his career as a pilot for American Airlines, followed by numerous safety leadership positions at WestJet Airlines, Qantas Airways, Airlines for America and American Airlines.

Nolen served tours of duty in the US Army as an aircraft and helicopter pilot and safety officer. He holds a BSc in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, as well as specialised aviation safety management certificates from the University of Southern California, US Army Safety Center and the US Navy Postgraduate School. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

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