Michael J. O'Donnell, A.A.E., joined the FAA as Director of the Office of Airport Safety and Standards in June 2008. As Director, his primary responsibilities lie in all airport program matters related to standards for airport design, construction, maintenance, operations, safety, and airport safety management systems as well as for oversight of the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP).
Before joining the FAA, Mr. O'Donnell was appointed as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Division of Aeronautics. As Director, he was responsible for the supervision and control of the state’s 60 airports and for the promotion of aviation safety and air commerce.
Mr. O'Donnell is an accredited airport executive with 12 years of airport management experience at several general aviation and commercial service airports in the Northeast, including nearly 7 years as airport manager of the Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Connecticut. His background includes Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and 6 years of active-duty service in the U.S. Air Force.
Mr. O'Donnell is an experienced aircraft accident investigator and ARFF fire fighter. Mr. O'Donnell holds a private pilot certificate and is an experienced college professor who has taught courses in airport management, aviation history, commercial aviation safety, and airport certification.
Mr. O’Donnell, his wife Ella, and their two children, Justin and Brianna, reside in Virginia.