(Bloomberg) -- The White House is tapping Phil Washington, the director of Denver International Airport, to lead the Federal Aviation Administration.

The nomination, announced Wednesday in a statement, is to fill a post that has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since Steve Dickson resigned from the aviation agency in March, about halfway through his five-year term. Washington, who Bloomberg reported last month was in line to receive the nomination, will now face confirmation in the closely divided Senate.

If approved, Washington will face a long list of challenges as the FAA attempts to impose multiple reforms targeting how airliners are certified, prompted by two fatal crashes on Boeing Co. 737 Max jets, and mediates a dispute between telecommunication companies and airlines over new 5G service. 

The agency is also under fire from airlines over air traffic control issues that have contributed to flight cancellations.

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Washington headed President Joe Biden’s transition team for transportation-related agencies after the 2020 election. He became head of Denver’s airport about a year ago. He previously served as chief executive officer of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for six years and was CEO of Denver Regional Transportation District before that.

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