Executive Director, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
As Executive Director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Office, Jay Merkle is responsible for facilitating the FAA’s safe integration of drones into the National Airspace System. He coordinates across the FAA’s Lines of Business and Staff Offices to ensure all UAS integration activities and efforts are aligned with the agency’s overarching mission.
Prior to this position, Jay was the Deputy Vice President of the Program Management Organization (PMO) within the Air Traffic Organization (ATO). The PMO works with FAA operations and aviation users to ensure globally interoperable solutions for NextGen. In this role, Jay was a key architect of the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC).
Jay holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida and a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Virginia Tech.