Russell G. Chew, chief operating officer of the FAA, resigned Monday, leaving the agency without its top air traffic control official. FAA spokesperson Tammy Jones confirmed Chew is leaving at the end of February. In an e-mail to FAA employees Monday, Administrator Marion Blakey said Chew is leaving for the private sector, but “he is not ready to announce his next step, but I am delighted to know that he will remain in aviation in some capacity.”
“As of today, 100 percent of our major capital programs are on time and within budget, an unheard of development just a few short years ago. That is a tribute to leadership of Russ and his management team, as is the successful completion of the A-76 effort involving automated flight service stations, the largest competitive sourcing initiative ever in government,” Blakey said. Chew, who has been with the agency since 2003, oversees the operational and financial performance of the air traffic control system and the agency’s research and acquisition programs. Chew’s departure comes as the agency is preparing for the transition from a radar-based to a satellite-based air traffic management system.