AVS Senior Technical Experts Program


What is STEP?

The office of Senior Technical Experts, referred to as the Senior Technical Experts Program (STEP), is an agency-wide, mission-critical resource providing the FAA with the world-class expertise to foster advances in aviation operations, technology, and training. STEP supports all aspects of the Aviation Safety mission, including standards development, certification, continued operational safety, and policy-making.


Supporting the FAA’s mission to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world, the office of Senior Technical Experts enables FAA to stay abreast of emerging technology, identify new regulatory and certification challenges, and support investigation and resolution of complex technical issues.

Who is STEP?

STEP is staffed by internationally recognized Chief Scientist and Technical Advisors (CSTA) and Senior Technical Specialists (STS) with expertise in specific technical disciplines essential to aviation safety. With a demonstrated track record in solving challenging technical problems, these professionals draw upon extensive, varied aeronautical and engineering backgrounds to advise on diverse, but often interrelated, aviation safety topics.

STEP Responsibilities

Providing holistic and interdisciplinary technical expertise and influence through leadership and services including:

  • Providing strategic advice regarding technology, operations, and workforce development
  • Collaborating on projects where policy and training are not yet developed or would benefit from improvement
  • Supporting projects by providing policy and guidance interpretation, and additional technical advice
  • Sponsoring technical information sharing and knowledge transfer among FAA and with the aviation community.
  • Directing research priorities
  • Supporting technical conflict resolution
  • Collaborating on standards development, including external organizations and international bodies
  • Identifying issues/topics that merit organizational or industry attention

For more information about STEP, contact the Senior Technical Experts Office (AIR-20)

Last updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024