Keynote Speakers & Panelists

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Billy Nolen – Chief Safety Officer, Archer Aviation

Billy Nolen is the Chief Safety Officer at Archer Aviation. In this position, he plays a leadership role to help Archer more effectively collaborate with industry stakeholders and help ensure eVTOL’s safe entry into service as it prepares for planned commercialization in 2025. 

Before joining Archer, Nolen served as the acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration where he led certification reform and new safety management systems for airports. Prior to that, he was the associate administrator of aviation safety for the FAA, which covers more than one million registered aircraft, more than one million active pilots, thousands of approved manufacturers, and over 50,000 flights every day. During his time with the FAA, Nolen led the agency’s efforts to enable the safe entry of eVTOL aircraft into the national airspace and has been a strong advocate for the eVTOL aircraft industry and its role in changing the way the world moves.  

Billy Nolen is an experienced aviation safety professional with more than 33 years of experience in corporate safety, regulatory affairs, and flight operations. He began his career in 1989 as a pilot for American Airlines, flying Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft as well as the then-McDonnell Douglas MD-80. He was later promoted to manage the carrier's Aviation Safety Action Program. His passion for operation and safety led him to continue rising through the management ranks to become the airline's managing director for corporate safety and regulatory affairs. Nolen subsequently worked in safety leadership positions at numerous other airlines, including Qantas Airways, where he played a key role in the Qantas Group Safety Governance Framework, and WestJet in Calgary, Alberta where he was the Vice President of Safety, Security and Quality. 

In addition to his professional aviation experience, Nolen served tours of duty in the U.S. Army as an airplane and helicopter pilot and safety officer. Nolen graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management and has certificates in aviation safety from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, U.S. Army Safety Center, and the University of Southern California. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAeS) and has traveled extensively across the globe. 


Image of Susan Northrup

Susan E. Northrup, MD, MPH - Federal Air Surgeon, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration

Dr. Susan E. Northrup is the Federal Air Surgeon for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. In this capacity, she leads the Office of Aerospace Medicine in Washington, D.C., including strategic management of the FAA's aviation medical programs, which oversee all pilots. Together with the Deputy Federal Air Surgeon, she shares responsibility for the direction and management of all FAA medical programs. 

This includes the development and establishment of airman medical certification, the air traffic control specialist medical qualification policy, the application of that policy in medical decision making, the medical appeals process, and the oversight of aviation industry drug and alcohol testing programs. Dr. Northrup oversees the FAA's aeromedical education programs, the planning and conduct of aerospace medical and human factors research, and the investigation of aircraft accident medical factors. 

A private pilot, Dr. Northrup is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel. She is board certified in aerospace medicine and in occupational medicine. She is an acknowledged expert in aviation and has authored several scientific papers on accident investigation, the use of sleep aids by pilots, cabin air quality, and bioterrorism. While serving in the Air Force, she was the U.S. Head of Delegation to NATO's aeromedical working group. 

Dr. Northrup is a senior FAA aviation medical examiner. In 1985, Dr. Northrup earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry with Honors in Liberal Arts from The Ohio State University. She earned a medical degree, also from Ohio State, in 1989. She was awarded a Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Texas in 1994. 

Dr. Northrup is a past president of the American Society of Aerospace Medicine Specialists and the Civil Aviation Medical Association. She also was vice-president for the Aerospace Medicine Association. Dr. Northrup spent nine years (2007-2016) as a trustee for the American Board of Preventive Medicine. She is on the adjunct faculty for the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine and is a Fellow of the Aerospace Medicine Association.


Advanced Air Mobility

Jacques Coulon, Mobility Innovation Manager, City of Orlando

Chris Courtney, Director of Advanced Air Mobility & Adjacencies, CAE

Melissa McCaffrey, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, Overair

Paul McDuffee, Senior Principal of Airspace Integration, Supernal

Aviation Mental Health

Kandy Bernskoetter, Captain, FedEx Express

Beth Bjerke, Associate Dean & Professor of Aviation, University of North Dakota

Daniel Danczyk, Deputy Chief Psychiatrist, Federal Aviation Administration

Daniel DaSilva, Aviation Neuropsychologist, Morris Psychological Group

Eric Greene, Captain, United Airlines

Claudia Zapata-Cardone, President, Latino Pilots Association