Timothy L. Arel

Chief Operating Officer, Air Traffic Organization

Timothy ArelAs Chief Operating Officer of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, Mr. Timothy L. Arel is responsible for ensuring safe, efficient and secure air traffic services for approximately 50,000 aircraft operating every day over nearly 30 million square miles across the National Airspace System (NAS).  

Mr. Arel provides leadership and guidance to more than 35,000 employees and oversees the daily operation of the ATO, an organization made up of air traffic controllers, technicians, engineers, pilots and a host of other technical and support personnel who provide services as part of eight service units: Air Traffic Services, Technical Operations, System Operations, Safety and Technical Training, Mission Support Services, Management Services, Flight Programs Operations and the Program Management Organization.

The organization is also responsible for operationalizing airspace modernization initiatives and integrating unmanned aircraft systems and commercial space operations into the NAS. 

Throughout his 33-year career with the FAA, Mr. Arel has developed expertise in airspace security, air traffic safety, resource management and labor relations.  Prior to being named ATO Chief Operating Officer in October 2022, he served as Deputy COO from 2017-2022, overseeing domestic air traffic operations and managing the ATO Officers Group, the organization’s executive leadership team. 

Mr. Arel’s previous leadership roles in the ATO include Director of Safety, Deputy Vice President of Safety and Technical Training and Vice President of Air Traffic Services.  Earlier in his career, Arel managed the ATC Investigations Team, the Compliance Services Group, the Quality Assurance Group and the Runway Safety Group.  He began his FAA career as an air traffic controller in 1989.

Mr. Arel currently serves as chair of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) Latin America and Caribbean CEO Committee, an organizational committee that works to harmonize regional air traffic policies and procedures to ensure safe and efficient operations with regional partners. As committee chair, he is a member of the CANSO Executive Committee, which serves as the organization’s board of directors. 

Mr. Arel is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and has a background in public safety, having worked as an emergency medical technician, firefighter, 911 operator and police officer.  He is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute’s Leadership for a Democratic Society and the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Driving Government Performance.

Last updated: Thursday, January 26, 2023