Gayle Thornton is the Acting Deputy Regional Administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration's Alaskan Region. She has been with the FAA for over 25 years. She brings strategic focus, vision and objective judgment while managing and guiding the development and planning of Research, Engineering and Development programs and the implementation of Facilities and Equipment operational programs. She is familiar with region and center operations, having started her FAA career in facilities engineering in the Great Lakes Regional Office.
Ms. Thornton managed the Wake Turbulence Program and the ADS-B program during the research and development phase. She developed and implemented a comprehensive wake turbulence plan which addressed the need to increase airspace capacity and maintain safety, applying innovative technologies to address the issue. She previously served as Assistant Division Manager, Policy and Planning Division, Office of Environment and Energy where she managed a staff of engineers, attorneys and environmental specialists formulating and implementing environment and energy policy.
She is a graduate of the Commerce Department Science and Technology Policy Program where she was senior policy advisor in the EPA Office of International Affairs. She has also served as an attorney providing advice and counsel to large technical teams on environmental issues such as airport noise abatement, and on acquisition and procurement matters. Other assignments have included working in Navigation and Surveillance, Systems Engineering, Air to Ground Communications and Operational Telecommunications.
Ms. Thornton holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental/Interdisciplinary Engineering from Purdue University and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She is a certified Project Management Professional and is a member of the bars of Maryland and the District of Columbia.