FAA Announces New Regional Administrators

David Suomi
David Suomi

The FAA has named individuals to fill the Regional Administrator position in four regions – Southwest, Southern, Eastern and Northwest Mountain.

Terry Biggio has been named the new Southwest Regional Administrator, Michael O’Harra will become the new Southern Regional Administrator, Jennifer Solomon has been named the new Eastern Regional Administrator and David Suomi will become the new Northwest Mountain Regional Administrator.

The Regional Administrator (RA) role represents the agency and the Administrator in the field and serves as a pulse point on hot-button local issues. Biggio brings more than 35 years of vast FAA experience to the position and most recently served as the Vice President, Safety and Technical Training (AJI) in the Air Traffic Organization.

O’Harra has been serving as the Acting Regional Administrator in the Southwest Region following Kelvin Solco’s retirement and previously served as the Deputy RA in Southwest since 2008. O’Harra has over 25 years of FAA experience and understands the technical issues facing aviation and an ability to apply different styles and solutions to address various audiences.

Ms. Solomon comes from the Office of Policy, International Affairs, Energy and the Environment (APL) where she served as the Assistant Administrator and has a background in major policy issues facing aviation today such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Noise and Performance Based Navigation(PBN)/Metroplex, and the agency’s Global Leadership Initiative.

Suomi has more than 13 years of FAA experience, and over 40 years in aviation. His first responsibility with the FAA was managing the national Airport Improvement Program (AIP), the $3.5 billion per year airport infrastructure grant program. Prior to the FAA, he served in a number of COO and CEO positions at major airports, including Chicago O’Hare and Midway Airports, and as Vice President, BAA USA, the US subsidiary of the former British Airports Authority, the private sector company that owned and operated London Heathrow and other UK airports.  Most recently, he was the Acting RA in Northwest Mountain following KC Yanamura’s retirement earlier this year, and previously served as the Deputy RA in the region since 2009.